Pakistani actor Mahira Khan joins Commonwealth campaign against domestic, sexual violence

Renowned Pakistani actor and National Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mahira Khan, has joined a Commonwealth campaign against domestic abuse and sexual assault

Sep 23, 2021
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Pakistani actor Mahira Khan

Renowned Pakistani actor and National Goodwill Ambassador for United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Mahira Khan, has joined a Commonwealth campaign against domestic abuse and sexual assault. Khan, who also co-starred in Rahul Dholakia's Indian film Raees to mark her debut in the Hindi film industry Bollywood,  took to Instagram to share information about the campaign 'Join the Chorus' in an attempt to raise awareness about domestic and sexual violence.

The campaign has been initiated in the 54 countries of the Commonwealth and is being helmed by the No More Foundation, the Commonwealth Secretariat and Gentle Forces.

Khan, best known for portraying the role of Khirad Ashar Hussain in Momina Duraid's Humsafar, says in a video message on her Instagram page: “Hi I'm Mahira Khan, an actor from Pakistan, and I invite you to 'Join the Chorus' and say 'No More' to domestic and sexual violence.”

She captioned the video, "We either know of or have experienced firsthand, some sort of abuse or sexual/domestic violence. The more we speak up, the more we break the silence surrounding domestic and sexual violence.”

In a follow-up post, she reinstated, “Let's break the culture of silence that has enabled domestic and sexual violence to persist for so long.” To caption this, she wrote, “The more we speak out against domestic and sexual violence, the more power we take from our abusers.”

The Hum Kahan Kay Sachay Thay star then shared a third video, a short and empowering animation, in which she narrates, “Home, it should be a space where we all feel safe. But for some, home can be a dangerous place. And while one voice can remain unheard, a chorus cannot be ignored. So together, we can help free those harmed by domestic and sexual violence, #JoinTheChorus.”

According to the campaign’s website, #JoinTheChorus is led by artist FKA twigs, who has been joined by renowned public figures such as Rose Byrne, Joselyn Dumas, Khan, and Thandiwe Newton.

As per the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), "32 percent of women have experienced physical violence and 40 percent of ever-married women have suffered from spousal abuse at some point in their life in Pakistan”.

The UN agency further adds that "One in two Pakistani women who have experienced violence never sought help or told anyone about the violence they had experienced.”

Developed by the Commonwealth Secretariat and The NO MORE Foundation, in collaboration with GentleForces (a global creative impact company), the resources are part of the Commonwealth Says NO MORE campaign, which was launched last year in response to the alarming spike in cases of domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

(SAM)