Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan Blames Women’s Clothes For Country’s Rising Number Of Rapes

by : Julia Banim on : 21 Jun 2021 16:05
Pakistan Prime Minister Blames Women's Clothes For Country's Rising Number Of RapesPA Images

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has once again come under fire after suggesting women’s clothes are to blame for the rising number of rape cases in the country.

Khan made these comments during a recent interview with Axios on HBO, with the excerpt in question having been widely shared and criticised by journalists and activists.


Official statistics show that at least 11 rape incidents are reported in Pakistan every day, with more than 22,000 cases reported to the police over the course of the last six years.

When asked by interviewer Jonathan Swan whether or not he believed women’s clothes to be a factor in rape cases, Khan replied:

If a woman is wearing very few clothes, it will have an impact on the men, unless they’re robots. I mean it is common sense.


Swan then went on to rephrase the question, asking Khan whether clothing was ‘really going to provoke acts of sexual violence.’

Khan responded:

It depends on which society you live in. […] If in a society people haven’t seen that sort of thing, it will have an impact [on them]. Growing up in a society like yours, maybe it won’t impact you. This cultural imperialism… Whatever is in our culture must be acceptable to everyone else.


This isn’t the first time in recent months that Khan has made regressive comments about rape. In April, human rights groups branded Khan a ‘rape apologist’ after he advised women to cover themselves up so as not to tempt rapists.

During a televised interview at the time, Khan remarked:

In any society where vulgarity is prevalent, there are consequences.

In response to this, a group of Pakistan-based human rights organisations – including Women’s Action Forum and War Against Rape – penned a joint letter asking the PM to apologise.


According to the most recent survey from the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Pakistan ranks as the sixth most dangerous place on Earth for women.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.

Male Survivors Partnership is available to support adult male survivors of sexual abuse and rape. You can contact the organisation on their website or on their free helpline 0808 800 5005, open 9am–5pm Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays; 8am–8pm Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10am–2pm Saturdays.

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, Pakistan, prime minister


Reema Omer/Twitter and 2 others
  1. Reema Omer/Twitter


  2. Statement of Condemnation of PM’s Remarks

    Statement of Condemnation of PM’s Remarks

  3. Reuters

    Factbox: Which are the world's 10 most dangerous countries for women?