The Women’s Action Forum (WAF), a women’s rights organisation, has strongly condemned the ban on women from visiting tourist spots in Bajaur, announced by a jirga in the area earlier this month, and urged the federal government to get the order revoked at the earliest.
“Not only this is in blatant violation of several fundamental rights guaranteed in the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, 1973, including Article 25 (equality of citizens) and Article 26 (non-discrimination in respect of access to public spaces), it also raises serious questions on the extent of application of the writ of the state and the increasing audacity of the informal sittings of all-male local elders issuing such proclamations in defiance of the Constitution,” the WAF said in a statement.
The organisation urged the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government to ensure that no pressure groups are able to violate the Constitution and deny women their rights under any circumstances.
“We also demand that women’s autonomy and rights be respected and ensured by all citizens and authorities,” it added.
“The jirga was held under the supervision of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) – an allied party of the coalition government in the centre. The WAF urges the coalition government to get the order of the jirga revoked at the earliest and prevent unconstitutional acts by its coalition partners in future,” it concluded.