top of page

'Bholi banno' to 'Dou takay ki larki'; Pakistani dramas portraying women in either extremes!

As a regular viewer of Pakistani dramas since a decade now, one thing that irritates me is portraying female leads as either the oppressed, very innocent girl who is forced to give up all her dreams and goals for the sake of others in the plot or recently, women like 'Mehwish' from 'Mere Paas Tum Ho' who is the worst example of a woman one has ever seen.


Recently, I have seen a common trend in Pakistani dramas that the women are portrayed in extremely negative light. Pakistani dramas have had only two extremes while portraying women. Previously, it used to be that women were shown in a very submissive position. Men were shown in a position where they would hit and abuse women. Thus, previously women were shown in an extremely submissive position. Now the trend has shifted to an opposite extreme which is showing women in a negative or a villain role. Now the women are shown as rebellious, plotting negative things against men and other women in the show.

These two extremes have become very common in Pakistani dramas. Whereas, I believe the portrayal of women should have been very different. The portrayal should have lied somewhere in between these two extremes. Women should be shown powerful in a positive light, making ways for themselves and finding opportunities for themselves. Thus portrayal of women in negative light is the major problem for Pakistani dramas these days. These dramas have a very negative impact on the youth of Pakistan and also the mentality of people. We need to understand the importance of media and its impact in lives of people. Thus, if media is portraying women in a negative light, people would start taking negative impact. The impact would be that they would stop women from achieving their goals, going out of the homes etc. Thus, the makers of dramas should realise the importance of media in the lives and minds of people.

However, very few dramas have actually portrayed women as normal human beings who can have goals and perspectives just as men can and are shown as grey characters who have a journey and transition over time such as 'Raqeeb Se' and 'Zindagi Gulzar Hai'. But the majority needs to normalise women having normal lives and possessing both good and some bad qualities as every human being does!

36 views10 comments

10件のコメント


I agree, I too have lost the nerve to watch dramas that persistently show female antagonism as a means to move the story forward as well as where the women are completely shown as evil and conniving. I've written a blog on how this portrayal may be changing with more and more female oriented dramas like Sinf-e-Ahan. Here's the link if you want to check it out: https://www.mediapolicyproject.com/post/sinf-e-ahan-a-wholesome-depiction-of-female-friendship-and-religious-tolerance


But here I'd also like to add another example of not a drama but a character that I feel breaks the stereotypes for that time, in terms of being a strong female lead character who has shades of grey. Kashaf in "Zindagi Gulzar Hai" was one such character. I watched the drama…


いいね!
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
2022年8月07日
返信先

Yes the plots of such powerful dramas are disappointing at times.

いいね!

Mahnoor you have rightly pointed out the binary of good and evil of women shown in the dramas! However, I would slightly like to disagree on the fact that meray paas tum ho's female lead was the worst example of a woman ever. The reason we can learn to unravel her character's complexities is because it was written by a man - a very problematic at that one. Khalil ur Rehman Qamar is a known misogynist and slanderer, and so it is no surprise that he has, as you put it, shown the woman in an extremely negative light. The narrative of women being cheated on is so common that women are shown to cope with it but is meray…


いいね!
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
2022年8月07日
返信先

Yes but the script writers still have a lot to be done in order to make the characters of women strong. They either put them in a good light or bad. The characters of very strong women are only shown if they have seen the worst in their life. Is it really a pre-req to become a strong women?

いいね!

Iman Aamir
Iman Aamir
2022年8月02日

I cannot stress enough how much this bothers me as well , I have been an avid viewrr as well and what I see in Pakistani dramas are too extreme (why can’t women posses both negatives and positives) . moreover when one sees the negative charecter and then thinks about it after the drama they feel as if their thoughts might not be wrong but the way the drama potrays with loud makeup angry expressions just gives a negative energy as well . to add to that the most irritating thing is that the evil women either ends up committing suicide or having a very bad end or goes mental . Does. This happen in real life ? No i…

いいね!
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
2022年8月07日
返信先

Yes and they lack in making dramas on better scripts and ideas. The whole script either revolves around men and women fighting each other for love. There are better and more empowering ideas but there are still very few number of dramas made on such ideas.

いいね!

Ammara Noor 2321S023
Ammara Noor 2321S023
2022年8月01日

Good work Mahnoor! I think the drama is full of toxic masculinity and misogyny. This drama fuels unhealthy patriarchal attitudes. This drama depicts the disparity that still exists between South Asian gender roles for men and women. Merey paas Tum ho confirmed what we as a society are programmed that a bad woman- a woman gone rogue is never worthy of redemption.

いいね!
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
2022年8月07日
返信先

Yes. This drama has inherent misogyny in it. The script writers need to write better positive script so the society can take a better influence and learn from them.

いいね!

Rafay Abdul Razzaq
Rafay Abdul Razzaq
2022年8月01日

Hello Mahnoor!

Really nice post you've written. Im glad you mentioned the importance of these dramas as creators of representation in our society. Building from this, I think it's absolutely crazy how Pakistani dramas mein I have never seen a married couple kiss. If I take a second to introspect, I just asked myself: where have I learned to kiss? Like who taught me that when I am in love with someone, I must do this to show affection. Definitely not Pakistani dramas. Not that kissing is the only form of showing affection or a superior one. But it is exactly that - a way of showing affection.


How can I expect someone who has only had access or exposure…


いいね!
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
Mahnoor Noman-22020331
2022年8月07日
返信先

Yes. Mostly women who watch such dramas are more into family politics then women who watch light comedy and fun shows. That is where we need to understand the kind of impact these dramas make on our daily lives.

いいね!
Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page