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Pakhtun women pledge to struggle for their rights

Bureau Report 2020-01-01
PESHAWAR: An all women exclusive movement celebrated its first anniversary by arranging a colourful event of cultural music, art and poetry as well as debates on issues f aced by Pakhtun women.

Waak (control) Tehreek is a movement of Pakhtun women. The members of the movement struggle to create awareness among Pakhtun women living in Pakistan and Afghanistan about their political, economic, social and legal rights.

`The movement promotes art and talents of women and female education besides challenging the customs that have deprived women of rights,` said Sana Ijaz, a rights activist, who is heading the movement.

The movement has around 40 active members including women political activists, former parliamentarians, poets, writers, teachers and students.

Wranga Luni, a member of the movement from Balochistan, said on the occasion that Pakhtun women like Malalai of Maiwand, Nazo Ana, Zarghona Ana Bakhnama Ana, Queen Surraya, Zojan Bibi, Alaf Jan Khattaka and Mumlikat Bibi and many others got less appreciation than men.

She said that Waak Tehreek would try to bring women together for their rights rather than pitching them against men. She added that it was just a movement to bring women together and play ef fective role as men in society.

Former parliamentarian Bushra Gohar said that women had to play their role in social and democratic institutions.

She said that the social structure that excluded women must be changed.

Former lawmaker Jamila Gilani presented a folk song while old women, who participated in the event to show support to the young ones, played traditional musical instrument Tambal (small tambourine).

Mamanrha Afridi, a young member of the movement, said that Pakhtun women did not have a choice to live as they liked. She said that they also lacked forums to express their thoughts and raise voice for their rights. All political parties and organisations were male-dominated so there was need for an organisation or forum like Waak Tehreek, she added.

Qandi Safai, an Afghan living in Peshawar and member of the movement, said that women needed to come together to raise voice for their rights as they had always been silenced. It was time for women to come together and take control of their life, she added.

Poet Roshan Kaleem recited her poems on women`s plight in the society, criticising outdated discriminative customs and child marriages.