Pakistan Expat Forum - women in Pakistan

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bhh429
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4/24/2009 14:32    
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Hello everyone. I am going to be married soon and my husband is taking a job in Pakistan. I am concerned about how American women are viewed in Pakistan. I am free-spirited, and march to the tune of my own drummer. Will it be necessary for me to dress conservatively when I'm there? I'm by nature a flashy/skimpy dresser. Would I be in danger if I dressed the way I wanted?

HeatherMC
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4/24/2009 22:17    
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Oh and to answer your question more directly, YES I believe you would be in danger if you dressed in a skimpy way. Flashy, skimpy clothes tell men that you are a loose woman, available to all. If you are raped or attacked, the men will say you brought it on yourself by the way you dressed.

It will also bring 'shame' on your husband and his family and may create large problems with the in-laws. If you are living with his family, you will need to save your skimpy clothes for the bedroom.

One of my friends was reprimanded for wearing capri length pajama pants and a t-shirt around the house at night. Her mother in law said it brought shame on the family.

If you're living independently, wear whatever you want inside, but I'd suggest always answering the door in full length pants, a short sleeve shirt and a scarf. If you don't, it is as if you are inviting men to have sexual relations with you.

You will be stared at everywhere you go because you are foreign looking. Many Pakistani men already believe that Western women are loose and are all whores. Prepare to be groped in public by passing men, whether you dress conservatively or not.

For the rest of us Western women living over here, please dress conservatively and don't reinforce the stereotype by wearing skimpy clothes.

You can still be stylish, and sexy, while wearing local Pakistani dress. You just wont' be showing as much skin!

Keep in mind the breasts, hips, butt and any bare skin are all very sexual in Pakistani culture.

HeatherMC
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4/24/2009 22:21    
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Here's the link to a collection of articles I've written about expat life in Lahore. Check out the tips on Safety for Women to get an idea of what you'll be up against. I've been living in Lahore for over three years.

I do wear Western clothes sometimes in posh areas, but I always wear shirts that cover my behind and a scarf.

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1217751/the_ultimate_guide_to_life_and_travel.html?cat=16

My husband is not Pakistani, but with the way men stare over here he is quite perturbed. He always likes me to be dress conservatively for my own safety.

agohar
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8/4/2009 22:31    
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If you haven't already done so I strongly suggest you read up on the culture there, Islam ways govern a lot of the laws there. It is very different than what you are acustomed to here in the USA. I have been to Pakistan twice for months at a time, But I did were the traditional clothes for two reasons the sun and their customs as well as for my own saftey. The men there are different from here they think about sex and everyhing else in a very different way. On my second trip there my husband who is pakastani punched a guy out because of what he said passing by us....and I was fully dressed and with my head covered. So In Public I would strongly recommend you dress with modest in mind. I even tried wearing my jeans long shirt and a scarf but was looked at as though I had no clothes on. So yeah I would suggest traditional clothhing of Pakistan it will be much safer.

aminah3
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8/25/2009 06:30    
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Moving to Pakistan requires respecting their traditions, which includes NOT wearing skimpy clothes.
Dress conservatively and respectfully and hopefully you wont become a steretype.

zawar
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8/26/2009 09:07    
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dressing barely, or barely dressing is hazardous for a woman anywhere. you are exposed to men and the sun.

Evette
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8/30/2009 19:43    
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Yes, you will have to dress extremely conservatively, but look on the bright side. The fabrics are absolutely amazing...you can go as creative and luxurious as you want with the colors, styles and type of fabric! Have fun with it!

sonietsjka
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4/8/2011 07:40    
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Have you moved to Pakistan yet?
I'm from the Netherlands and I have arrived in Islamabad yesterday. I'd be happy to hear some of your experiences.

Best,

SABIR
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5/7/2011 04:48    
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Hello from Lahore,
Long-elusive peace and sanity will soon greet the Pakistani and the expats living here.
What do you think?
Let us start a campaign to urge the powerful countries to promote bloodless policies.
Why kill civilians?

aalyaah
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12/21/2011 08:07    
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Hello
I am an American and I am going to Marry a Pakistani we have decided to move to Islamabad and would like to know the expiriences for an American woman living abroad can you please send me any information that might help me adjust.

aizdesi
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1/13/2012 00:41    
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Hi,
Islamabad is a modern city and culturally its very liberal. There are many foreigners living in Islamabad as being the capital city most of the embassies and consulates are in Islamabad. You won't even have hard time finding work as you would have american passport. Other than work you can join some international NGO or some other organization you keep you busy. The only advice I want to give you is that as soon as you come here and settle please get the job and work before getting into family politics of marriage and make your life miserable so its better to your life busy with work and family. Wish you good luck.

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