Going against patriarchal traditions, Badam Zari aired her plans to run for parliament. She is a 40-year-old housewife who seeks to force the government to helping Pakistani women after all the violence they have experienced in their region. This, however, may aggravate other Islamist groups and militants who that are still rooted to the very strict traditions as far as women's position is concerned.
'I want to reach the assembly to become a voice for women, especially those living in the tribal areas,' Zari told the press in an interview on Monday. 'This was a difficult decision, but now I am determined and hopeful society will support me.'
Majority of Pakistan's 180 million citizens still downplay the idea of women having significant role in the society other than being housewives to care for their husband and children. Even more conservative are people living in the country's semi-autonomous tribal regions where poverty and isolation are often associated with violence due to male domination.
Even more fearsome are places where Taliban militants find shelter. These insurgents are at war with the government as they want to impose with use of force the very tradition of Islam, which many consider as 'extreme'.
Majority of women in Pakistan are uneducated; the highest education many of them could get is to graduate from high school. In fact, Zari told the press she hasn't set foot in college after graduating from a local high school institution. But that didn't stop her from making history in her country.
The government is slowly rebuilding Pakistan, accepting partnerships here and there. Just last month, a deal with Abu Dhabi Group has already been signed making the country home to the world's tallest building. This shows the government is trying to make the country open to economy after decades of way against Taliban.
Zari may just become a keystone in rebuilding the country especially if people would actually vote for her to be in parliament. She filed the paperwork necessary to run for office on Sunday in Khar, the main town in Bajur. She was accompanied by her husband, who she said fully backed her decision to run for a seat in the National Assembly.
News Source: Big Pond News