PESHAWAR: Expressing concern over lack of women representation in the Fata Grand Assembly (FGA), members of a tribal women forum on Wednesday demanded reforms be reviewed and proper representation be given to women in the assembly.
Addressing a press conference at the Peshawar Press Club, Irum Bibi, a representative of Takra Qabili Khowende (TQK) meaning ‘Stronger Tribal Sisters’ – a social forum of tribal women – said successive governments had only raised hollow slogans for streamlining the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata). She added no serious steps had been taken in this regard.
Bibi said no senior official paid a visit to Fata during the last five years, which was a matter of grave concern on the part of the former democratic government. “Tribal women and children are the worst affected due to the ongoing situation in Fata. They are compelled to leave their hometowns,” she observed.
Bibi added the forum was constituted to accelerate the process of reforms and take serious steps for mitigating the suffering of tribal people.
She welcomed the FGA but regretted women were not given clear representation and there was no specified clause mentioned for their rights. She stressed all reforms should be reviewed with their consultation before being sent to the president for approval.
Irum maintained some parties had raised their hopes by promising to streamline Fata before the elections, but none of them made any plausible efforts to ensure that.
She also expressed concern over the imposition of direct and indirect taxes, which she said was ‘sheer injustice’. “Tribesmen are already suffering a lot and now the government has set up these policies,” said Bibi, demanding the government to immediately review its decision and provide relief to tribal people.
She also demanded more women be included in the justice and administrative process for women empowerment.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 11th, 2013.