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Jirga prohibits women from visiting child-welfare centers and taking part in radio call-in shows

A jirga in Pakistan’s rural area of Bajaur’s tribal district has disallowed women from visiting child-welfare centers. These centers provide regular cash stipends for mothers from poverty-stricken backgrounds.

The assembly in Bajaur’s Mamoond area believes that it is against cultural norms for women to visit offices of the Child Wellness Grants. It came to the verdict that as of 6th February 2021, a household that allows its women to visit these welfare centers will face a penalty.

Not just that, but it also prohibited women from participating in radio call-in shows, saying that vulgar language is used during these phone-in programs broadcasted by local FM radio stations. Families residing in religiously conservative areas do not allow their women to work outside home or even leave the house without a man.

The district government of Bajaur disapproved of the jirga’s announcement. They said that it is a violation of basic human rights.

“Banning women from visiting the centers or calling radio stations is a violation of basic human rights”, said the district’s deputy commissioner, Bajuar Fayaz. He added that he has set up a meeting with the members of the jirga to resolve this issue.

Child Wellness Grants are funded by the World Bank, and their goal is to improve the nutrition and health of Pakistan’s underprivileged children by giving financial support to their mothers.

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