It was only yesterday when a friend came to university unusually quiet. On inquiring, she told me that she had been out walking with her mother the other night when two men, on a bike, swooshed past her deliberately touching her. The experience, she revealed, had left her extremely surprised and disgusted.

I realised how often such incidents occur with the women of our society, despite the fact that they are mostly modestly dressed. How often do we hear men instructing women to dress properly and talk slowly in the presence of men? Why is it that they consider women to be their properties which can be treated in just about any way they please? As disconcerting as this episode with my friend may be, I am choosing this moment to speak for all the females like her who often take it upon themselves that they tempted the person into touching them. It is high time men learn to respect women and not just the ones who are their family. Awareness programs should be launched by the authorities to make them realise how wrong it is to disrespect a woman in such way as that and that the women are certainly not public property.

MAHAM ANEES, Karachi, March 22.