PeaceWoman of the Month
Women’s rights activist from Pakistan
Tabassum Adnan is making history. She has founded the first Women-Jirga in Pakistan.
Jirgas are part of a pashtun parallel justice system in which men traditionally get together to solve conflicts. In a society that ascribes little to no rights to women, decisions are often made to their disadvantage. The Da Khwendo Jirga (The Sisters Council) gives these women a voice.
Tabassum herself was married at the age of 13 years to a man 30 years older. At the age of 20 years she was a mother of three children. She suffered physically and mentally. Today she says that the Women Jirga was born out of a necessity. Tabassum is the first woman in Malakand Division to stand up publicly against the daily violence against women.
25 members are now committed to the Da Khwendo Jirga. Tabassum organizes protests pressuring the police to take action, she holds meetings to sensitize women about their rights, she works with younger generations and strengthens the awareness of women’s rights by making use of the media. But above all she gives back something to these women and girls, of which they have been deprived for a while: the recognition of their dignity.