Pakistani woman makes history with run for office
KHAR, Pakistan — A 40-year-old Pakistani housewife has made history by becoming the first woman to run for parliament from the country's deeply conservative tribal region bordering Afghanistan.
Badam Zari is pushing back against patriarchal traditions and braving potential attack by Islamist militants in the hope of forcing the government to focus more on helping Pakistani women.
“I want to reach the assembly to become a voice for women, especially those living in the tribal areas,” Zari said in an interview on Monday. “This was a difficult decision, but now I am determined and hopeful society will support me.”
Many of Pakistan's 180 million citizens hold fairly conservative views on the role of women in society.
But those views are even more pronounced in the country's semiautonomous tribal region, a poor, isolated area in the northwest dominated by Pashtun tribesmen who follow a very conservative brand of Islam.
Most women in the tribal region are uneducated, rarely work outside the home and wear long, flowing clothes that cover most of their skin when they appear in public.
Zari, who finished high school, spoke to reporters at a news conference on Monday wearing a colorful shawl wrapped around her body and head, with only her eyes showing.
Life for women in the tribal region has become even more difficult in recent years with the growing presence of Taliban militants who use the border region as their main sanctuary in the country. The militants have been waging a bloody insurgency against the government to impose Islamic law in the country and have a history of using violence to enforce their hard-line views on women.
Last fall, Taliban fighters in the northwest shot 15-year-old schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai in the head in an unsuccessful attempt to kill her because she resisted the militants' views and was a strong advocate of girls' education.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- FIFA rocked as U.S. indicts 14 in corruption investigation
- ISIS suicide attacks kill 17 Iraqi soldiers
- 4 Taliban attackers killed in Kabul siege
- Britain’s pro-EU side happy with wording of referendum
- U.S. senator in Cuba says normal relations ‘weeks away’
- China orders U.S. plane to divert from airspace over islands in South China Sea
- Blair to quit post as U.N. special Middle East envoy
- Army commando team kills senior Islamic State official in Syria raid
- 19 officers, 7 soldiers killed in siege of Afghan police compound
- Tornado ravages U.S.-Mexico border towns
- Iraqi militias begin move on Ramadi