Pashtoon women -misconceptions


Naseebullah Achakzai
No society, no tribe, and no human being is flawless. Faults of an individual or some segment of a society cannot be considered the amiss of the whole. The same has been happening with the Pashtoon women for decades where the misconceptions about them have been a weapon of non_Pashtoons against them. Pashtoon has been blamed for depriving their womenfolk of their social, political, educational, and economic rights. Whereas reality is something else. Acceptably, the situation regarding women might not be as good as the 21st_century demands, but dispraising them collectively is injustice. This materiality should be in mind that despite the happy center of war and the hotspot of world powers, the status of Pashtoon women is admirable. Can anyone deny the reality that the Pashtoon women have been participating in politics with men shoulder by shoulder like other nations? This misconception is false__as we have abundant women political figures in both Pakistan and Afghanistan who have been active in politics. History is witnessed that the wife of King Amanullah khan, (Sorya Tarzai) had been his sole political counsel. It is said that Queen Soraya was the first Muslim consort who appeared in public together with her husband, something which was unheard of at the time. Notwithstanding, when Khan Abdul Samad Khan was sent to jail by the Britishers, he gave the charges of the home affairs to his daughter despite his male relative. She proved to be competent by brushing up her brothers including Mehmood Khan Achakzai. The same case was of Khan Ghafar Khan. The wife of Wali Khan Begum NasimWali khan was a famous politician who stood by Wali khan during his political career and endured difficulties during Zia regime. More, Prominent Pashtoon personalities Rahila Durrani served as speaker Balochistan assembly while Noor jahanpanizai was the deputy chairman of Senate of Pakistan. The situation in Afghanistan is more glittering where 27 percent of national assembly seats are reserved for women. The famous figure is Shukria Barakzai who has been a social activist, journalist, member of parliament, and recipient of the international editor of the year award. Militarily and administratively, the contribution of Pashtoon women are appreciable. They have been fighting in the wars shoulder by shoulder with men. They have been serving on key administrative posts skilfully. Malala of Maiwand was a prominent Pashtoon warrior who fought against the British in 1880 and defeated them in the war of Maiwand. Afghanistan has been a fertile land of women worriers. It has produced female generals SyhailaSadiq, and KhatoolMohammadzai_ and 16 percent of key management posts are run by women whereas, by 2020, 21 percent of civil servants in Afghanistan were women. In Pakistan, the situation is plausible too where Lieutenant general Nigarjohar has been serving as three star general in Pakistan Army who belongs from the Pashtoon family. From the remote area of Balochistan, district Pishin two women MS.Pari Gul has cleared the CSS examination and is serving as the first SSP of Balochistan. Another woman from the same area MS. Fareeda Tareen has been serving as Assistant commissioner. MS.Pari Gul has said in an interview that without the support of their brother, it would not be possible to get through the CSS. The above cases not only testify to the participation of Pashtoon women in military and administrative jobs but also proves that Pashtoon as a nation has never been adamant aboutwomen,s education. Their women have been in schools, colleges, and universities. By 2017 there were 1 lac Afghan girls who had been studying in Universities. On the flip side, Pashtoon women in Pakistan have been getting education despite terrorists’ threats, attacks, and abolishment of educational institutions. Some short-sighted people and a so_called intelligentsia always give the example of the Taliban and ban on women education during their regime in Afghanistan. The reality lies somewhere else as neither all Taliban were Pashtoon nor their doctrine was accepted by the Pashtoon living in Afghanistan and even though in Pakistan where Malala Yousafzai was attacked, where schools were bombed but people refused not to send girls to educational institutions. If someone wanted to exemplify Pashtoon women in education, the examples of Malala, Paris Gulp,and more are in front of the world. They represent the genuine Pashtonwali not the Taliban in terms of education. Despite so many hurdles the Pashtoon women have been taking part actively in politics, government services, and getting education throughout history. The misconceptions about them need a cold fist and the responsibility of Pashtoon intelligentsia including the politicians increases more to show the true face of Pashtonwali(Pashtoon code of life) to the world.