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How empower and aware are women in rural Pakhtunkhawa?

Palwasha Abbas

Palwasha Abbas

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



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