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Nusrat Ara to keep raising her voice for Women's Rights

“We, women, want to shoulder the responsibilities of the house with our brothers, sons, and husbands to make our homes heaven."
by TNN Editor - 08 Mar, 2023 1562
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Abdul Sattar

Nusrat Ara, a social worker from the Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (K-P), has earned widespread accolades for her struggle and efforts for society, especially women's rights.

Her achievements include the establishment of Dar ul Aman, a shelter for homeless and vulnerable women, and playing a pivotal role in resolving 12 hundred women-related disputes as a member of the District Reconciliation Committee.

While talking to Tribal News Network about International Women’s Day, Nusrat Ara said that this day is celebrated not only in Pakistan but all over the world and has a history of over 100 years.

She said the main objectives include the protection of women's rights, ensuring full wages to working women, and preventing them from being overworked.

“On this occasion, we demand that women should have equal rights in Pakistan as well, which includes the right to education, health, employment and to participate in politics.”

She asked if more than half of the population of a country is paralyzed, how can that country prosper? This is exactly what Pakistan faces today, where half of the population is comprised of women, but due to a lack of opportunities, they are like paraplegics.

Former female district councilor, Nusrat Ara, said that if only men in the society continue to be the bread-winner and all the women of the house remain free, it becomes difficult to meet the expenses.

“We, women, want to shoulder the responsibilities of the house with our brothers, sons, and husbands to make our homes heaven."

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Nusrat Ara asked the politicians that women should be given opportunities in politics, "If not on the basis of equality, women should have at least 33% representation in the Provincial, National Assemblies, and the Senate."

Recounting the hurdles she had faced, Nusrat Ara said that she was elected thrice in municipal elections, “When I first submitted the papers to participate in the local body elections in 2001, on the day of scrutiny, the returning officer tried to create problems for me so that a female social worker could not participate in the elections. And sensible women could not become local body members but I worked hard and despite all odds, I got elected.”

She said that when she became a member of the district council, she kept raising her voice for women's rights.

Nusrat Ara said that in our society, women or girls are allured to elope, or if any false accusations are made against them, then there is no place for these women in their homes and most of them are killed by their families in the name of honor.

“Through my efforts for these women, a resolution was moved to establish Dar ul Aman in a government building in a safe place, opposed by some male members but seconded by the district Nazim and other male members and that resolution was passed. Subsequently, we, the women members, established the Dar ul Aman building with our development funds and now 45 women from different districts including Mardan are living a safe life in it.”

Nusrat Ara said that when the committee (dispute resolution committee) was formed in Mardan, she voluntarily joined it as a female member so that she could help them in women's cases.

She said that till now the reconciliation committee of Mardan City has resolved a total of 8000 disputes of which 1200 cases were related to women.

Nusrat Ara said that women should come forward for their rights and participate in the country's politics so that they can raise their voices for their own rights.