Engaging Tribal Customs to Empower Women in Pakistan

Khalida Brohi
Posted March 18, 2011 from Pakistan

Looking back it seems like forever when living life according to my own choices has been a very ordinary and possible thing for me. I can easily count myself to be among the regular modern girls with almost every necessity of life but the truth is in this liberated life of mine when I receive a book to read, hundred of girls in my own community go without any education at all and when I am asked about what I want, girls in my family are given off into marriages without their slightest knowledge and choice…

Life offered me much more then I could ever imagine, I got my freedom, education, opportunities and power of decision making that no other girl in my family or community could get, I lived my life distributed between two very distinct realities: one my original inheritance, the second my gained identity.

My original inheritance is that I belong to a tribal community in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, to a society where traditions fix the fate of each girl to a family, where the birth of a son is celebrated with gunfire while a daughter’s birth is mourned. But luck turned out that I became the first girl in my community who could get her education in Karachi, and I was provided every opportunity to grow and learn and encouraged to speak my mind. In other words I became a fortunate recipient of getting a very different fate living inside a circle where there was no escape from customs that enforced seclusion, male dominance, wata satta (exchange marriages), arranged marriages, child marriages and even giving off girls into marriages as a means to settle tribal disputes.

Read my full article on Think Change Pakistan, where it was featured today!: http://thinkchangepakistan.wordpress.com/2011/03/18/participatory-develo...

Comments 1

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  • Olutosin
    Mar 18, 2011
    Mar 18, 2011

    I love your diction, pls do not forget to make a change in the lives of these girls even if it is one life at a time...you are empower to empower others. I am happy that you have become their voice too. The world is a strange place.