The pictures of US blogger Cynthia D. Ritchie riding the bike on the streets of Peshawar has sparked a hot debate!
Ritchie has been frequently traveling to Pakistan since 2009 and has shared her experience about the country, which has helped curb the negative image and stereotyping preached across the world. But this time, it initiated a fiery debate.
Ritchie shared a photo of herself riding a bike in Peshawar and captioned it with positive words about how Pakistan is a safe country for women to travel and live in.
@CynthiaDRitchie enjoying on the roads of Peshawar,
She is an American director/ producer, and shows a positive image of #Pakistan to the world through her work.👌@GulBukhari 🔥🔥🔥
We are really thank full to Cynthia showing positive image of motherland..#PositivePakistan pic.twitter.com/zHae9huOs9
— MOOSA 🇵🇰 (@MOOSA_PATRIOT) November 12, 2018
But, is it so? The encouragement and admiration that Ritchie got, the eyes that stared her in awe and acceptability – will they be the fate for a local woman as well if she decides to fearlessly ride a bike, without any male company, on her own? Unfortunately, no.
The same point was brought to notice by Imaan Hazir, who said that Ritchie’s opinion was indeed privileged and the reality is quite different. She maintained, rightfully, that in the wake of recent consequences, political landscape and Pakistan ranked among top 10 most dangerous countries for women due to suppression of rights, stereotyping, dowry deaths, societal norms and son preference being a reality even in 2018.
Here is how people reacted to the differing opinions:
She is an American born with independent spirit. She showed it through her actions. Pakistan is a great place to exercise it and people all over the world fell in love when they see it. It is a natural reaction. I'm happy for her. Just keep the Mullah away from her.
— Naveed (@Roar_Of_A_Lion) November 12, 2018
The sense of normalcy is encouraged only when there is actual peace in the city, when people feel safe, when their constitutional rights r protected, and when mothers feel their children are not at risk of attacks in schools. Pretty colorful images can't bring a sense of normalcy
— Gulalai_Ismail (@Gulalai_Ismail) November 14, 2018
Here is a local "ULTRA POSITIVE PAKISTANI IMAGE CREATOR"! He just created a "MASTERPIECE", weeks ago and he hasn't stopped yet, there are more POSTIVE images from him in waiting…
Gulalai, do you want more? there are plenty in Pak.. pic.twitter.com/twchenpKJq
— mudassar tareen (@mudassartareen) November 14, 2018
Just let them say what they wanted to Cynthia You are not answerable to each and every individual. Few people just don't really enjoy the normalcy. Anything that goes for a better image of Pakistan isn't easy for them to digest.
— Adnan Awan (@adnanazir) November 14, 2018
I fail to understand why it matters , so long as its positive !! Sheesh
— zeba raza (@tinker_bell0) November 14, 2018
Really appreciate your patience of tolerating such venom everyday. People are just sitting day and night to speak negative and crticise just for the sake of criticism. Keep up the good work👍
— Dawood Shuja (@DaudShaikh) November 14, 2018
Nice to see you ride a bicycle on the streets of Pakistan; ever considered taking Asia Bibi for a ride?
— Usual Suspect (@Monkosova) November 15, 2018
What is the actual motivation and objective behind the “positive image” business ?
— Asad A. Lodhi (@AsadALodhi1) November 15, 2018
We really appreciate n love efforts by Cynthia BUT in parallel local ppl and govt of Pak must put efforts to build a positive image
— Mr Khan (@Khan76425286) November 14, 2018
Enjoying on the roads in carefully scripted pics to do what exactly? Let's have Pakistani women ride bikes and rickshaws then see if the response is same of the ppl.
— Hassan Ali (@SiriPayee) November 13, 2018
Cynthia, just make list of "peoples to Ignore" like Gulalai, Gull Bukhari, Chema etc, you will find hardly 10 to 15 out 220million peoples in Pakistan.
Just ignore them or reply with "😏" so they don't get much attention
— A.A.KHAN Pakistani (@mbckhan) November 14, 2018
Out of 153 countries ranked for women inclusion, justice and security, Pakistan was ranked among lowest, 150th spot. The figures suggest that women in Pakistan face the highest discrimination and lowest financial inclusion.
Women’s average years of schooling in Pakistan stands at only five years. With that, only 33 per cent of women in Pakistan can use cellphones. Only 24% of Pakistani women are employed, and their share in representation through seats in parliament is only 20%.
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