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      November 25, 2013



International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

As in all other traditional, class-conscious society, in Chitral too, status declines more slowly than wealth. Likewise people of Chitral are relatively more ego-driven holding on to their cultural traditions and connect with each other in an instinctive way. So, anything against honor affects the status of a family to a deeper extent.

“Ghayrat”- Defence of honor, is one of the strongest foundation on which this status is built on. Defence of honor is typically synonym with defence of one’s women. Here I will not debate on women rights but woman is a symbol of honor and expected to abide by norms and preserve family honor.

Today on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women I was wondering about a very alarming social issue that has prevailed in Chitral. We have been reading and hearing about the growing number of this negative trend of suicides and have our own reasons and conspiracy theories. But the most popular reason assumed by locals is failure in love.
Locals and Human Rights officials say that the actual number of suicide is much higher, but most of these incidents were missed by the police and journalists, because families attempt to conceal the actual cause of death. Most of the reasons put forward are failing to get good marks in the Metric/intermediate examinations and domestic issues. Since Chitrali culture supports arrange marriages and once married the interference of parents is unappreciated. Marriages without consent often lead to domestic disputes and the girls find no place to get consolation when faced with unrestrained behavior by their husbands or in-laws.

One of the reasons for this increasing statistics is social laws where cases are nipped in bud or proved accidental in mere struggle of guarding the honor which emboldens the perpetrators. And in majority of the cases both the families try to find a middle ground by concealing the incident in order to avoid the interference of police and social stigma. It’s a high time that Human right activists play their role and save the future of Chitral. Setting up psychiatric clinics in the district might be helpful but recent incident where a female psychiatrist was killed by a patient makes it difficult to initiative such step without proper research and veteran physiologists. Young psychiatric might face the same fate as of the young girl who was murdered a couple of months ago. There are no shelter homes for women in Chitral so there is no option left but to take this heinous step. When ending the pain becomes unworkable the other convenient option they see is ending life.

Due to the fact that Chitral is situated in one of the remotest areas of Pakistan, government and other organizations are hesitant in working for the quality of life of people in Chitral. Various newspapers and website report frequent suicide cases but no effort is made to address this issue that has taken the shape of a full-fledged social problem. HRPC claims to work for human rights in the backward Chitral district of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but this seem to have no effect as numbers of cases are increasing day by day. The people of Chitral have incessantly requested the government authorities to send a team of senior psychiatrists to Chitral to find out the factors and propose some way out for this issue. If not awareness sessions at least a study should be conducted to evaluate the causes of the tendency.

By Benazir Mir Samad

About the Author
Benazir Mir Samad is the Editor Web at ARY NEWS.


mail @ chitraltimes@gmail.com

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