Aaj English TV

Friday, April 12, 2024  
03 Shawwal 1445  

Literally the tradition of womb which denote a womb held as pawn

It is still followed in some parts of Balochistan, Sindh, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Abdul Ghani married off his eight daughters under ‘pait ki rasam’ in Balochistan. They had their families, excluding daughters as the above mentioned tradition demanded granddaughters return to their maternal grandfathers.

As many as 23 girls returned to Ghani’s house, according to reports. He is dead and five of them are still to be taken care of and married. The responsibility now lies with his five sons, treating it like a debt which transfers to children if the head of the family fails to pay off the loan.

Unlike other customs common in Pakistan, this tradition is different but old and still followed in parts of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

“This tradition is very old and followed from the patriarchal society,” researcher Ghulam Nabi Sadhayo told Aaj News.

He went on to explain that many people who cannot make the payments seek ‘pait’ from the party. “The purpose behind this is that whenever a woman gives birth to a girl she will belong to her family [maternal]. It’s their choice where they marry off her.”

Underage marriage, honour killing, and bonded labour are some of the issues prevalent in Pakistan, media reports said. A UN report released in May last year stated that South Asia “still needs 55 years to eliminate the practice [child marriage] if it does not speed up”.

Last year, an 18-year-old woman was allegedly killed with the connivance of her own family in the Kohistan area of the Masehra district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the orders of a local jirga (villager elders) after her photo with a man went viral on social media.

When asked about the reasons for such practices still being followed, Sadhayo said there was a dire need for education in the province. He was of the view that education with better grooming was also necessary to shun practices undermining women’s importance.

At least 217 people, including 152 women, were killed in “honour-related crimes” across Sindh in 2022, according to the data compiled by Sindh Suhai Organisation, a nongovernmental organisation.

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“Are women a commodity,” Dr Fatima Hasan, a scholar, said and called for unmasking such people who treat women in such a way.

Marvi Awan, an official from the Women Protection Cell, stated that many families in different parts of Pakistan were still following such a practice and engaging in this ritual and considered it as their right and an honour.

“The biggest reason why such incidents are not reported is that people fear that their family members would be harmed in case they reported against it,” she said.

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Khyber Pakhtunkhwa


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