Saturday, November 1, 2008

Women unnerved by ‘ogling’ security guards in capital

Islamabad continues to be plagued by a string of issues yet there are some that rarely get highlighted like the security guards - their habit of staring at women, so to speak.

With the security situation showing little signs of improving, more and more guards are now being employed, many of whom are posted outside private homes and it is here where the problem begins.

In some of the posh sectors like those falling under the E and F series, there is barely a house without a guard sitting outside. Clad usually in dark blue uniforms, for most of these men staring at women is a favorite pastime.

Having to perform long duties, at times up to 12 hours each day, there is little else for them to but to watch and stare at everyone going past, especially the women.

The situation is worse in streets where offices, embassies, showrooms and guesthouses have been set up that makes the movement of women quite troublesome. “No one likes being stared at, it is simply a disgusting thing,” remarked Shazia Ahmed, a housewife.

The movement of housewives has been restricted because of this problem. All sorts of people visit the offices in residential areas and there is so much of activity going on outside that it makes it hard for most women to come out of their homes as the presence of security guards was also a big irritant.

Today there are as many as 500 registered security firms that recruit the guards who are then posted in places where the client’s want them to be. More than 100 people come to use for recruitment daily.

However the growing numbers are clearly not going down well with women. Security is everyone’s concern but the unprofessional manner in which the guards perform their duties and their gestures make women feel uncomfortable. The guards are actually a security threat for they shared information with their colleagues and servants in the neighbourhood. They tell others what time a woman next door leaves for work and returns. Tthe guards have given different names to women in different street. This is simply insulting.

On the other hand the security guards have their own story to tell. Some of the guards instead of admitting their wrong said that why were they being singled out. “Everyone looks at women, you cannot put a person in jail for doing so,” said one guard posted in F 6/4 while another thought that it was their duty to keep an eye on everyone. As far as the guards are concerned, they are doing a good job. Really?

Muhammad Mahtab Bashir
House # 2026, Street # 32,
Voice: 0300 52 56 875

1 comment:

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