Is It Time For Pakistani Dramas To Destigmatize Divorce?

Ushna shah on divorce

In a society where patriarchal values are deeply entrenched, Pakistani dramas have long depicted divorce as a shameful and taboo experience, perpetuating the stigma associated with marital dissolution. However, with a growing number of individuals in Pakistan seeking a more progressive world, a discourse on the need for change in the way divorce is portrayed on-screen is brewing.

Ushna Shah Speaks Up

Recent comments made by Pakistani actress Ushna Shah on Twitter highlight the crucial need for the media to play its part in challenging societal norms and destigmatizing divorce. Shah tweeted:

Many scripts I work on perpetuate shame around divorce. While I can’t reshape the conventions of scriptwriting or opt for unemployment, I stand by a vision. As the child of a divorcee who hustled with three jobs to raise us, the stigma on divorced characters feels deeply personal. I’m eager to be part of a story that addresses the stigma of divorce and combats the shame of being single after, celebrating the journey to independence and joy.”

Shah’s candid revelation underscores the importance of addressing this issue within the television industry. In many Pakistani dramas, divorced women are often relegated to the fringes of society; marginalizing them and making them feel worthless. By perpetuating these narratives through mainstream media, a false and damaging notion is reinforced – that a woman’s dignity is intricately linked to her marital status.

Bringing Change

It is high time for directors and producers in the Pakistani entertainment industry to step up and break away from these regressive stigmas. Instead of showcasing marriages that thrive on toxicity and belittling those who choose to walk away, it is crucial to empower individuals, especially women, to escape unhealthy relationships.

In the modern world, where individuals are striving for gender equality and the right to lead fulfilling lives, popular media must join the fight for progress. By advocating for stories that normalize the concept of divorce, the Pakistani entertainment industry can not only reform regressive ideals but also extend support to those who may be fighting their own battles.

Convincing Producers

Convincing producers to invest in such ‘risqué’ narratives might be challenging at first, as they may face backlash from conservative factions of society. However, the shift toward embracing change is already happening, catalyzed by public figures like Ushna Shah.

With the right stories and a commitment to address the stigma surrounding divorce, Pakistani dramas can become vital tools in changing mindsets and breaking down outdated beliefs. Ultimately, this movement will lead to a more progressive society that celebrates independence, happiness, and well-being, regardless of one’s marital status.


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