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Engaging Tribal Customs to Empower Women in 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...
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olutosin's picture

Thanks and Congrats

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.

Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale
Founder/Project Coordinator
Star of Hope Transformation Centre
512 Road
F Close
Festac Town
Lagos-Nigeria

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