Growing up, Saira Khan candidly shared how she thought domestic violence was ‘normal’ as she reflected on her childhood experiences.
In a new column, the TV personality, 50, said she “ felt it was acceptable for men to yell at women and that hitting was part of our culture and normal. ”
The former Loose Women star encouraged other South Asian women to ‘voice their opinions’ about their experiences of domestic violence in their communities.
Growing up: Saira Khan, 50, claims she grew up ‘thinking it was acceptable for men to yell at women and that spanking is part of our culture and normal’
Saira, who was born and raised in Derbyshire to immigrant parents from Pakistan-administered Kashmir, said of Asian women in the UK: “Many come from places like Pakistan, India and Bangladesh, with no knowledge of the language.”
‘[They] are forced to be dutiful servants at the mercy of the families they married. ‘
Promoting a South Asian domestic violence charity as she writes in her latest column for The mirror, she said the charity Shanatona has helped more than 1,000 women who did not want to go to the police in 12 months.
Describing the case of a mother who ‘always’ had black eyes, Saira claimed it was ‘unacceptable’ that despite her injuries, she was not being helped by her own community.
Call to action: calling on women to ‘make their voices heard,’ Saira added ‘[They] are forced to dutifully be handed over to the families they married ‘
She concluded, “It’s domestic violence and there are laws in this country to protect us from it.”
In April, Saira claimed that her Pakistani culture had limited her progress more than any racism she had encountered as an Asian woman in the UK.
The presenter insisted she did not encounter significant social boundaries growing up on a council estate and gave credit to British society for helping her make something of herself.
When Saira, who had been raised as a Muslim, shared a lengthy Instagram post, she insisted that her biggest obstacles came from within the Asian community itself.
She wrote: ‘As an Asian woman born in this country to immigrant parents, I am proud to be British, thankful that this country has helped my parents to help me recognize and realize my potential.
Speaking of which, in April, Saira claimed that her Pakistani culture was more limited in her progression than any racism she has encountered as an Asian woman in the UK.
‘If I’m honest, as an Asian woman it’s my Asian culture that has tried to hold me back more than any racism. That’s my truth. ‘
Saira also insisted that racism is not the one-way street portrayed by the wave of recent protests and marches that have taken place in major cities around the world.
Using her intermarriage with husband Steven Hyde – with whom she is raising two children – as an example, she added: ‘We all have to play our part in fighting racism, so many of us are ignorant of each other’s cultural and religious backgrounds. beliefs that lead to misunderstandings and division.
Divided opinion: the presenter shares a lengthy Instagram post, insisting that as an Asian woman she has not encountered significant external boundaries
As a woman in a mixed marriage with a mixed-race child, I can say from my own experience that there are prejudices on both sides – it’s not just whites who hate people of color.
‘The color of my skin has not hindered my progress in this country. In fact, right now, the world we live in, it is an advantage to be a woman of color, because there is a need from all institutions for a better representation of our society.
“The focus on whites and their unconscious bias is well documented.”
The presenter also urged minority groups to examine their own feelings towards other cultures, religions and skin colors.
She wrote: “I think it is also time for many Asian and Black communities to take a deep look at their own prejudices and admit that they too need to make changes to take advantage of all the opportunities this country has to offer.
‘I grew up on a municipal estate. I know the social / economic barriers, but this country is helping those who want to help themselves.
‘It was British culture, not Asian culture, that encouraged me more to get the best out of myself. It is hard to admit that I know what impact I will have. But that’s my truth.
Being a victim is easy. Getting off your a ** e and making it happen with the right attitude is damn hard. But that’s what it takes. ‘
She added: ‘I am not an academic, I do not deny racism, I am in a happy position to see both sides and I know what has worked for me is to treat everyone the way I wish they did treat me regardless of my skin color, religion, sexual orientation, gender, education or class.
“If you harbor any prejudice, any kind of discrimination – you’re a loser – that’s a fact – regardless of the color of your skin.”
Saira previously announced that she is no longer a practicing Muslim after years of feeling ‘guilty, caged and unhappy’.
All change: Saira previously announced she is no longer a practicing Muslim woman after years of feeling ‘guilty, caged and unhappy’
The former Loose Women panelist revealed she was led to share her life update after receiving a ‘disgusting message from a troll’ when she stated, ‘This was the last taboo that had to be overcome before I could live my best life. ‘
The journalist confessed that she does not want to ‘accidentally confuse, represent, or inadvertently hurt others’ of the Muslim beliefs after she received assumptions about fasting for Ramadan, not drinking, and abstaining from premarital sex.
She told The Mirror: ‘Saying I am a Muslim and then having a boyfriend, wearing clothes that violate the Islamic dress code, having a drink and living a non-Muslim life only brings guilt, self-hatred, loneliness and a sense of be caged. ‘
Saira also clarified that while some Muslims are ‘the most humble people I know’ and most of her values are based on the ‘spiritual aspect of the faith’, she is influenced by other teachings and has only ‘hurt’ herself by ‘to live a life’. lying ‘for her loved ones.
She added: “It took me until I was 50 to find the courage to say it. I’m doing it now for my own benefit. I want to be honest and feel free to live my life according to my own rules. I thought it was a huge relief to be honest.
Both ways: “ As a woman in a mixed marriage with a mixed-race child, I can say from my own experience that there are prejudices on both sides – it’s not just whites who hate people of color, ” she wrote
“I know one of the reasons I’ve been so angry and unhappy in my life is because of the many contradictions I’ve had to live with. I have not dared to share these feelings before, because the few Muslim women who do are called sinful and some have even been the target of death threats. ‘
Saira, who shares son Zac (12) and daughter Amara (nine) with businessman husband Steve Hyde, was nominated for the Services to Media award at the British Muslim Awards in 2013 and 2015.
The host left the long-running Loose Women lunch break in December 2020, shortly after Andrea McClean announced her resignation.
Happy family: presenter shares son Zac, 12, and daughter Amara, nine, with 15-year-old businessman husband Steve Hyde