It’s #WomenWeek and tomorrow we will be celebrating #InternationalWomensDay, a day to recognize the women rights, a day marked to remember the struggle and achievements of women.
We are living in an era where on one hand women of other nations have conquered new horizons but on other hand we have sisters like #R( bibi ) and N bibi who are struggling for their genuine rights let them share their experiences with you and it will be easier for the readers to decide that how empower and aware women in rural areas are? R bibi a teenager was married last year ,basically she is from Kalam valley (swat ). she told me that from , beginning of her marriage she was not only mistreated by her husband but by her in laws as well. The teenager faced severe mental and physical torture by from her husband and in laws.
The girl belongs to a lower middle class family, though she was not happy in her material life, but she has to endorse all this because her parents wanted her to do it. Things got worsen, when she lost her first child because of the physical violence, she faced during her pregnancy from her husband. This psychologically traumatized her to a great extent. After this brutal incident her parents brought her to their home .Her family wants the relations to end, but as awareness regarding many legal rights and protection to victim of such incidents are very low, so they were in state of confusion.
At the beginning of all this situation, the girls parents were not even ready to accept domestic violence as a crime, but when their daughter went through a brutal experience and narrowly escapade death they realized severity of the situation. Now with the help of local councilor and Mashran R ,bibi parents have filed a divorce case.
I have not only motivated R bibi to start her education again ,but have provided her information regarding different skills development courses, with the help of which she will be able to live an independent and dignified life.
N bibi another sister of ours ,a mom of four kids. A few years back her husband abandoned her with her two young boys after he got married for the second time. An helpless woman , was left all alone to combat the hardships of life all alone with her two small kids. Her husband has not only got married without asking her permission but he also deprived her of her two elder kids. N bibi husband, is also not taking responsibility of her and her kids, financial needs. Since ten years she is working as a domestic helper in our village, not only supporting her self but taking the responsibility of her two little kids too .The most ironic part of N ,bibi real life tragedy is, that every month her husband took a major portion of her pay, Instead of supporting her and his kids he is depriving her even from the pay she is earning through her hard work and struggle. N bibi was totally unaware of fact that her husband holds obligations and responsibilities towards her. She was unaware that if she want ,with the intervention of legislative authorities she can make her husband bound to take care of her genuine rights.
There are numerous such real stories scattered around us. Situation and awareness regarding many legal rights of women in rural Pakhtunkhawa is very low. Every year on 8th March world wide women day is observed, which is mostly limited to seminars and meetings in five stars hotels. Legislative bodies (National, Provincial assembly ) have made so many laws in recent past for safeguarding the rights of women, but how many of these laws are benefiting the women in our society, unfortunately very little in numbers.
We have seen a major growth in crime rates against women #Gilrs. Honour killings, domestic violence and rapes ratio has not seen any decline in society apart from serious legislations. This indicates a lot .only making pro women laws is never going be the solution unless a focus a very serious approach is made towards implementation of the laws . Society need a big approach change towards the status of women in society. Focus is needed to introduce women rights in our educational Curriculum. We need a serious role of media also in creating awareness regarding different women rights violations. There are thousands of women like N bibi and R bibi who are not aware of their rights .Rural areas of Pukhtoonkhwa needs a lot of serious consideration, where traditional values and norms are more valued then the laws. Where women still in 21st century are unaware about their basic rights .Their voices are suppressed by the norms .They don’t have much knowledge about their rights and ways through which they can get them .Tomorrow world will observe women day worldwide, but will the seminars in five stars hotels, fiery speeches on women rights by women rights defenders make a difference in the life of women like R bibi and N bibi and thousands more like her ?I don’t think so.
Real change will occur when the voices of these voiceless women are made heard to the world and when we reach these women and guide them in a positive direction of life Women rights are human rights
#InternationalWomensDay #8th March
Writer: Plawasha Abbas
The writer is an information secretary of NYO (ANP), a blogger and a social worker. She can be reached at
THE PASHTUN TIMES