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17. November 2009

Shaheen Akhtar © S. Akhtar

Shaheen Akhtar

The Women´s Voices have not gone into Wilderness

A Statement from Shaheen Akhtar, Islamabad

Women and children are the most vulnerable group in any conflict situation. Their suffering is most acute and affects the society greatly, as their recovery from trauma and the process of rehabilitation is a drawn-out process. In the case of Pakistan, rising extremism has affected the lives of women enormously. The loss of loved ones and the resulting increased responsibility for keeping the family together becomes a heavy burden on their shoulders. Most of the women who become victims of militancy come from poor families with a socially conservative and illiterate background. The conflict only serves to reinforce their deprivation. Despite all their inabilities, these women are holding the fort for their own families and the Pakistani nation. Their courage and resilience can be seen in their resistance to the obscurantist ideology of the militants.

The Pakistani nation stands by them in this hour of misery and destruction. They have been assisted by their sisters who are actively doing their bit in providing material succor and emotional support to them. Their voices have not gone unheard. They are an architect of modern Pakistan, a progressive Pakistan which has no space for the outdated approaches of some misguided elements of society. These women need our moral support and the recognition of their role in the current crisis that the Pakistani nation is facing. Women across the world must appreciate their historic role in recovering the Pakistani society from the clutches of extremism and extend all possible assistance to help them in standing up to the daunting challenges of reconstructing their homes and hearths. Long Live the women of Pakistan!

Dr. Shaheen Akhtar, Research Fellow, Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad and a member of SAVE Pakistan.


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