Saeed Anwar under fire for controversial remarks on women’s role in workforce

Former Pakistani cricket star Saeed Anwar is embroiled in controversy following his contentious comments about women’s empowerment and financial autonomy. The ex-cricketer, now a commentator, ignited a firestorm on social media when a video surfaced of him discussing his views on women entering the workforce.

In a viral clip making rounds on the internet, Anwar laments the rise in divorce rates, attributing it to women gaining the freedom to work outside their homes and achieve financial autonomy. “I have travelled the world. I am just returning from Australia, Europe. Youngsters are suffering, families are in bad shape. Couples are fighting. The state of affairs is so bad that they have to make their women work for money,” the former cricketer stresses in the clip.

Anwar recounted encounters with individuals from various countries who allegedly bemoaned the societal breakdown caused by women entering the workforce. He said, “New Zealand’s captain [for the national men’s cricket team] Kane Williamson called me to ask, ‘How will our society get better?’… The Australian mayor said to me, ‘Our culture has been destroyed since our women entered the workforce.’”

Anwar’s remarks have drawn sharp criticism for their patriarchal outlook. Many on social media condemned his views as archaic and harmful, pointing out the importance of women’s financial independence and their right to work. The cricketer also claimed, “Since women have started working in Pakistan, divorce rates have climbed by thirty percent in the last three years.”

“[The wives say] ‘To hell with you, I can earn myself. I can run a household on my own.’ This is a whole game plan. You will not understand this game plan unless you find guidance,” Anwar emphasised the ‘risks’ of women embracing financial independence.

The remarks from the ex-cricketer not only triggered widespread outrage but also reopened conversations about gender equality and the imperative of confronting archaic societal norms. While such conservative viewpoints from prominent men are not uncommon, they also fuel the distortion of facts and statistics.

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