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Girls & Women

Pakistani women battle oppressive Taliban regime in new VICELAND doc

Gloria Steinem, now 82, has spent more than half her life as a feminist activist and journalist. She has travelled the world, observing, investigating, and raising awareness about the issues faced by millions of women across the globe.

In Viceland’s new show titled ‘WOMAN’ which premiered in May this year, VICE, along with Steinem, explore womanhood, feminist battles, and what it means to be a woman in different countries.

In the latest episode of the show, to be aired on VICELAND in the US and Canada on Tuesday, June 28 at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT, Steinem and VICE give a glimpse at the issues faced by women in Pakistan.

It is directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who works with CHIME FOR CHANGE to promote girls' education in Pakistan. Sharmeen is known for her films dealing with issues like acid attacks and honour killings, and her outspoken promotion of girls’ education and empowerment in Pakistan.

The episode takes a look at how the life of women has been affected in areas controlled by the Pakistan Taliban, along the Afghanistan border. The Taliban, with its strict, orthodox Islamist beliefs, don’t allow women to receive an education, and in extreme cases, to even step out of their homes.

“They use violence and terror to assert male dominance over women in ways that permeate every facet of society,” says Steinem.

The episode deals with how extremist Islamist forces have deepened the inequality that already exists in society, and how Pakistani women are battling it.

Other episodes of WOMAN show the struggles of women in Canada, El Salvador, the United States, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The show aims to inform the viewers and give them ways to help.

"More than poverty, natural resources, religion, or degree of democracy, violence against females is the most reliable predictor of whether a nation will be violent within itself or will use violence against another country — and gender violence has become so great that for the first time, there are now fewer females on Earth than males," says Steinem to Vice.com.