By Mansoor Bakhiar
Despite having a big ratio, women’s importance usually been ignored in the patriarchal society in the Pashtun belt. However, there are many inspiring women in this society, who have challenged stereotypes about women in the society and their abilities through their achievements.
Nusrat Begum from Mardan is one of those women who are playing a lead role and serving the society through her services without getting any credit or benefits. Nusrat Begum who is an active social activist and the only woman mediator in Mardan is serving people around her for the last 35 years, thinks that being a woman activist in such a male-dominant society has always been a tough job for her.
While talking to Voice of KP, Nusrat Begum said that she has held scores of human and women rights seminars and conferences and has always focused on her work for people around her. “Due to my work and services for the ignored and under-privileged people, I have always received much respect and appreciation from the people”, she said.
About the challenges Nusrat said that she was pressurised and threatened by few influential people back in 2003 when she was elected as the first-ever district councilor from Mardan, but she never stopped working. Nusrat recalled, “I was threatened to death when I decided to contest as an independent candidate in the general elections after the Musharraf rule ended ended, but despite threats I sat an example for others and contested the election.”
Nusrat said that she throughout her career has resolved thousands of problems of women and even men through mediating and arbitrary role. It must be noted that Nusrat Begum is also the only member of Dispute Resolution Council ( DRC) Mardan and try to highlight and resolve the issues of women in regular meetings of DRC.
Nusrat said that as a member of DRC, she has held over six thousands trainings and awareness campaigns in the outskirts of Mardan city with an aim to let the people and espasially women aware about their right to education, right to vote and more importantly right to inheritance. About the number of cases she said that until now she through her mediation has resolved over eleven hundred cases related to forced marriages, divorce, inheritance and land disputes in district Mardan.