Using a Facebook group, a young Pakistani woman has offered hundreds of thousands of other women in her country a virtual safe space, where they can discuss every topic they hesitate to talk about in the real world.
We're doing this amazing thread on Soul Sisters Pakistan, hashtagged #MyBodyIsNotASecret to encourage women to shed the shame associated with their own body/functions and share experiences growing up so that we can ensure we build a different world for the girls growing up. ?— Kanwal Ahmed (@kanwalful) July 20, 2020
31-years old hairdresser Kanwal Ahmed had realized that women in her community need to vent out about several taboos they have no platforms to discuss, which has inspired her to start a female-only Facebook group through; which more than 250k women have finally found the place for their voices and thoughts.
It's female only because judgmental dudes will only mock and harrass women for talking about their stuff and the group's purpose will be defeated, which is getting actual help and support— Medusa (@metalheadfem) September 5, 2020
Through Facebook and later other social media platforms, discussions among the Pakistani "Soul Sisters" have ranged between talking about domestic abuse, mental health, shame culture, marriage, sex, and abortion.
I'm discussing brave spaces with @kanwalful and @SanaRGondal on Tuesday, September 8 at 4 pm. Tune in if you are interested to understand why there's a need for closed online spaces for women, and are these spaces even safe? https://t.co/xj9qCtlMvQ— Hija Kamran (@hijakamran) September 5, 2020
Using hashtags such as #StoriesFromSoulSistersPakistan and #MyBodyIsNotASecret and others, the platform has inspired women to talk about their fears, hopes, and ambitions in addition to asking each other for help and advice on women's issues, which made it a popular virtual platform offered to Pakistani women for the first time.
I had inimitable Kanwal Ahmed from Soul Sister Pakistan talk to me about the real-life violence women in her group share with her and thousands of members every day, seeking help or advice. The pandemic has seen a 60% increase in domestic violence, which primarily targets women. https://t.co/TxX7GQnlHI— Mina Malik-Hussain (@cyclestand4) September 1, 2020
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