Pakistan has diversity in its population having different backgrounds, culture, and traditions. Balochistan is the smallest province in Pakistan with respect to population. It is also one of the most underdeveloped parts of the country. Similarly, the region is also lacking basic women rights. The plight of women in the province has many responsible factors. It is all dependent upon the psychographic and demographic indexes. Although the major culture is one but minor cultures are different in its norms and values. Social issue of women plight is directly related to existing socio-political and economic status quo of the province.
The largest province which makes 52% of the area including territorial sea is home to two tribal ethnicities Balochs and Pashtuns. Usually, the tribalism in Balochistan is blamed as a bar for the women freedom. Intra tribe marriages for truce, honor killing and child marriages are the manifested examples which were declared illegal and penalized by parliament, But still, there is a lot to be done. Despite legislation the women rights security is not achieved which means only tribalism is not the issue.
Balochistan is naturally gifted with resources. it is a hub to most of the precious elements and minerals of the world. People of the province blame federal for marred human rights including women rights because they link rights violations with economic resources. The more you have economic resources the more you will be literate and the more rights will be atop of priorities.
Lack of women emancipation is a problem directly linked with the economic independence of women. The ratio of socio-economic development of Balochistan against other provinces is very low. The male population including children up to the age of 11 years or even less move to other provinces for livelihood while the females remain at home. Embroidery work is the sole learning way available to most women population, but its products have no access to national and international markets. Women learn it as earning skill on their own because of no proper institutions.
Illiteracy of women also counts as insecurity of their rights. Education is enlightenment. Awareness is the security of rights. Literacy in Balochistan is alarming. Religious fundamentalism hinders the way of female education. Lack of female educational institutions is also because of federal ignorance. Role of provincial government after 18th amendment is also not satisfactory.
The population is also one of the crucial ingredients in the determination of women rights. The total number and concentration of population matter in democratic set up especially for procurement of rights. Although according to article 25 of the constitution of Pakistan, every citizen is equal before the law but it is not equal before parliament based political gangs. Unlike East versus West Pakistan the vast territory of Balochistan is of no importance.
The so-called fifth pillar of state works only for its interest. The state media is paralyzed to highlight the real issues. It only covers the government of the time. According to state media, everything is all right with utopian Pakistani society. While the private media belongs to those who have a lust for power and wealth. Everything of political and commercial value is an issue for private media. Here it is meant that Balochistan women rights are not an issue.
It will be folly to ignore the strategic aspect of Balochistan as a catastrophic factor for female freedom. It is obvious from colonial time till now that the region remained a political football among monstrous powers. Currently, the province is facing secessionist movements, sectarian violence, feuds and extremists like the Taliban and ISIS. In presence of violence because of a power struggle, the human rights remain pie in the sky.
In the contemporary world, Balochistan with respect to female rights lags behind in pace. But there are examples pertinent to the bright future of women in Balochistan. For example, in previous government the speaker provincial assembly Rahilla Durrani, the coming Chief Justice Balochistan High Court Justice Syeda Tahira Safdar and increasing number of doctors and Central Superior Services. The inclination towards female education is applauded trend. Social rights activists like Jalila Haider is a symbol of courage not for females only but for tribal males also. Every society led by literacy can bring positive sociological change while changes brought by power is an abrupt mutation.
The story,” Women of Tribal Balochistan” is about a tribal society pertinent to females plight as a social issue. Whatever is mentioned in the story about the plight of women, is actually the combined outcome of social structure, social institutes, and other social issues. Actually, here I have tried to develop a link between preceding political and economic factors with consequential social results.
It is obvious from a sociological study of every society that norms, values, beliefs, customs, and traditions are adopted on the basis of strong experiences of society. All these social indexes change with changing requirements. While socialization is basically know-how about these social indicators. In the story, the last given examples are an indication to show my optimism for the resolution of women’s plight as a social issue with changing the trend of emancipation globally.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and Balochistan Voices not necessarily agrees with them.
The writer is a student of Mass Communication and Law in the University of Punjab and belongs to Punjab. He can be reached at Bulzaibtareen1@gmail.com
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