Women of FATA: Victims of State and Culture (graphic content warning)

In FATA and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, women have been “the principal victims of state policies to appease violent extremists”. Although, women in settled parts of state have opposed and on occasion overcome discriminatory practices in Pakistan (ICG 2015). Since the return of democracy in 2009, progressive legislation has been passed, often authored by women’s rights activists in federal and provincial legislatures who have benefited from quotas to increase women’s representation, however tribal women of FATA were ignored by the women legislators and activists. Recently, the new generation of educated tribal women and students have started raising voices against both cultural and state violence against women and children in FATA. The elimination of violence against women In Pakistan and specifically in FATA requires a broad based alliance in favour of multi-sectoral change. An important institutional base is required to drive the necessary action for gender equality beginning with the extension of the Ministry for Women’s Development to FATA. The National Plan of Action for the Advancement of Women needs to be adopted as soon as possible with or without merger plan. It stresses the eradication of poverty of women, emphasising health, education, violence against women and economic, political and social empowerment of women. The National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) was established in July 2000 by the Chief Executive of Pakistan. The main purpose behind this development was to make comprehensive strategies to end domestic violence and abuse against women, and to direct government to implement these strategies for long-term purposes (Human Rights Watch, 2004), however the representative from FATA is always inactive and chosen to remain silent on improving the lives of tribal women.
Since the 1980s, civil society groups have made efforts to address the issue of violence against women, both through the direct provision of services, and by making demands on government to eliminate the problem. From the 1990s on, funding became available for women’s rights work from international donors, interested in funding human rights and “women in development” programmes. But unfortunately, civil society activism in favour of women’s rights has been characterised as urban, elite and educated and ignored our rural tribal women. The movement to tackle violence against women in Pakistan has been led to date by feminist activists and women’s rights organisations. It has had some impact on central government decision-making. However, in case of tribal women, none of such activism help or assisted as it remained isolated from mainstream Pakistan. We demand an ordinance that shall extend all Pakistani laws that restricts every type of violence against women of FATA. We demand that immediate protection and relief shall be given to tribal women living in FATA, victim of state’s policies. 

Views of Qabailee Khor on domestic violence in FATA 

کچھ ان کے نام جو کے رواج ریگولیشن کے حق میں ہیں جناب فاٹا میں ایک ماہ میں تین واقعات ہوے ایک لنڈی کوتل میں جب جرگے نے تیرہ سالہ لڑکی کو غیرت کے نام پر قتل کر دینے کا فیصلہ کیا دوسرا اورکزی میں لڑکا اور لڑکی کو غیرت کے نام پر قتل کردیا گیا اور پر سنٹرل کرم میں دیور نے بھابھی پر تیزاب پھینک دیا یہ وہ واقعات ہیں جو میڈیا کی مہربانی سے ہم تک پہنچے ہیں ایسے بہت سے واقعات کو دبا دیا جاتا ہے بتاو ہم عورتوں کے لیے ایف. سی.ار اور رواج ریگولیشن میں کیا فرق ہے کیا ہمیں باقی ملک کی طرح 73کے ائین اور قانون کی ضرورت نہیں کیا ہم نے اس ملک پر اپنے بیٹے قربان نہیں کیے.ہم نے سڑکوں پر بے سروسامانی میں بچوں کو نہیں جنا. کیا ہم نے کیمپوں کی سردی اور گرمی برداشت نہیں کی. کیا ہم ٹوٹے ہوے گھروں اور اجڑے علاقوں کو اباد کرنے کی تکلیف نہیں اٹھا رہے.کیا اس جنگ نے ہمیں نفسیاتی طور پر خوفزدہ نہیں کیا اور کیا کیا گنواوں بدلےمیں کیا ہم اپ جیسا قانون رکھنے کا حق نہیں رکھتے . ذرا سو چیے کل اپ کو تاریخ کن الفاظ میں یاد رکھے گی منجانب قبائلی خور نیٹ ورک

This picture is displayed for understanding that issues of FATA women should not be left at the mercy of ferocious and cruel cultural structures but state should provide protection to tribal women. Zahida Bibi of Dai Kalay, Central Kurram is a victim of domestic violence, which is rampant and acceptable in these areas. She like commodity was brought off with bride money and that transformed her into a property of in-laws. After her husband’s death, in-laws were forcing her to marry their other son, on refusal she was burnt down. This case was recorded as the brother of Zahida Bibi Gul Karim brought her to Khyber Teaching Hospital Peshawar. (Graphic content warning) 

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