With female literacy at 36%, many women are too uneducated to know their rights.A difficult irony for women in Pakistan is that, should a victim speak up about physical or sexual abuse, she is seen as having lost her and her family's dignity.All he did is ask for forgiveness and they let him go as it was best to avoid having others find out what had happened. In the homes where I worked, I was responsible taking care of the children; getting them ready, feeding them and playing with them. At the moment, we live in Karachi in a small home with one room and the floor is broken.
She leaves home for work at 8 am and only returns at midnight.People may have forgotten what he did, but I never forgot. I blame my own fate; I am just unlucky that this happened to me. Since I was young, my father had always beaten my mother shamelessly.My entire family is aware of my father's abuse; it is no secret.Many rapes go unreported as the victim fears she will become worthless in Pakistani society.Often, women will turn to their employers; families they can trust.A certain mentality is deeply ingrained in strictly patriarchal societies like Pakistan.Poor and uneducated women must struggle daily for basic rights, recognition, and respect.In interviews, which I have translated, edited, and condensed below, they told me about their lives and struggles within a cycle of poverty and, often times, violence.Every poor girl wishes for more education, for the opportunity to learn and go to school; for a childhood. The day my brother was born was bittersweet; I was no longer allowed to go to school.Maybe it is fear, maybe it is desperation, I never quite understood. He began smoking, drinking, and maybe even using drugs with my income. In the middle of the night, he would touch me inappropriately and remove my clothes.As sad as it may sound, part of me does not fear the physical abuse anymore. Because I was afraid, I would act like I was sleeping and would turn the other way. I have heard that if you don't share your dream with someone else, then it never happens. After these incidents, the only person I could turn to was my employer.