First female jirga set up in Swat

The session of the first female jirga is going on.

MINGORA, Aug 28,2013 (Fazal Khaliq / UPI Next) — The first all-female jirga — or council — has been created in the deeply conservative Swat Valley in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, a controversial effort conceived to resolve disputes without the anti-female bias the women say marks traditional male assemblies.

The 18-member group was established in June to find peaceful solutions to disagreements without resorting to violence or violations of a woman’s rights. It resolves small conflicts, such as petty theft, on its own but refers larger issues, such as acid attacks or other violence, to the courts — where the jirga’s members often serve as legal advisers.

Male jirgas are traditionally composed of elders and other respected figures whose decisions are widely accepted in Afghanistan and the Pashtun parts of Pakistan. Women and legal experts, however, describe the assemblies as inherently biased against women. For example, girls are sometimes forced into marriage with a member of a rival group to resolve a conflict.

Read more  First female jirga set up in Pakistan’s Swat Valley –


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