Ex-cricketer Saeed Anwar links Pakistan divorce rates to working women; video goes viral

An undated video of former Pakistani cricketer Saeed Anwar making controversial remarks regarding women’s empowerment and financial independence went viral on social media. The Pakistani opening batsman, now commentator, stirred social media controversy after a video showed him sharing his opinions about women entering the workforce.

Former Pakistani cricketer Saeed Anwar.

In the video clip, Saeed Anwar is purportedly heard lamenting the rise in divorce rates, attributing it to women gaining the freedom to work outside their homes and achieve financial autonomy.

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“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,” Saeed Anwar said.

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The ex-cricketer shared anecdotes of interactions with people from different nations who reportedly lamented the perceived societal disruptions attributed to women joining the workforce. “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,’” Saeed Anwar.

The cricketer also claimed, “Since women have started working in Pakistan, divorce rates have climbed by 30 per cent in the last three years.”

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“(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,” Saeed Anwar stressed the ‘risks’ of women embracing financial independence.

HT couldn’t independently verify the authenticity of the video.

Anwar’s comments have drawn sharp criticism, The Express Tribune reported. 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.

Saeed Anwar is widely regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen in the history of Pakistani cricket. Anwar represented Pakistan in international cricket from 1989 to 2003, primarily as an opening batsman in both Test matches and One Day Internationals (ODIs).

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