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Sheikh Abdullah’s grand-daughter voices female woes

Srinagar: Female woes and concerns have been highlighted by Sheikh Abdullah’s grand-daughter Nayla Ali Khan in her latest book Hind-Pak Raqabat ki buniyad: Kashmir. with the rise of militancy in 1989 and armed clashes between the militants and security forces, Kashmiri women’s plight has turned from bad to worst. The two decade long conflict has told heavily on thousands of Kashmiri women. While women in J&K find themselves without any identity; they remain subservient to male dictates in PoK under the hudud laws. They are denied opportunity to rise and prosper. Advocating empowerment of women, this book tries to assert their rights to ensure political and gender rights.

The war between India and Pakistan is being fought on female bodies. Rapes, gangrapes, abduction, has become the order of the day. Quite often they undergo the humiliation of mutilation (losing an organ of their body) as punishment or retaliation. They are living in their own land as refugees. In view of such ground realities it is imperative to empower them. There has been no attempt to make their lives happy and blissful. This is why women have been compelled to form organisations to search their “disappeared” male relatives – sons, brothers, fathers or husbands. Widows and orphans have formed self-help groups to make them self-reliant. They are gradually becoming stronger with the resolve to meet the challenges with courage and fortitude. The 312-page book is published by Gulshan Book Publishers. It is a compilation of horrible tales of their suffering.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 January 2011 on page no. 20

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