Author Topic: 'Status Of Baloch Woman in A Baloch Society' by Mahnaaz Bashir  (Read 5662 times)

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Offline Zahida Raees Raji

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By Mahnaaz Bashir

When we hear the term women some weak sentences come to our mind as women are just selling things, they are child machine and to be dominated by their husbands. History is teemed with such incidents where women were the subjects of oppression, suppression and exploitation. They were suffered from rape, gang rape, murder, torture and acid throwing. Violence against women was a common feature, and they had to face various problems under the system of repression. However, the sketch of Baloch women is somehow different as they scored respectable position in Baloch society.

 Before throwing some light on the status of Baloch woman in a Baloch society, let’s, unpack two related terms which help us understanding the actual picture of woman dignity and honor. The terms “lajj” means honor and “mayaar” means in one’s shelter are used for a woman.  A man either he is a father, brother or husband, takes care of his daughters, sisters and wives like a guard and even he sacrifice his lives for the safety and security of his women. Similarly, if a woman enters in a Baloch house and asks for the shelter (mayaar), the Baloch man will sacrifice his life but never compromise on the safety of woman. For example, the recent case of Nawab Akbar Khan Bhugti clearly indicates the apparent picture of woman honor and dignity that was came up just after the Shazia Khalid’s case that was inhumanly raped by Captin Hammad. However, she was a Panjabi doctor but her rape case was taken as of Baloch honor and Bhugti left no stone unturned to sacrificing his life for this cause. Though, he was martyred but never compromised in the name of woman honor and dignity.   
As the above case of Bhugti demonstrates a Baloch society where woman is seen as valuable, respectful, honest and symbol of sacrifices. As Murri S. K. (2004) argues that among Baloch status of women is equal to man, there are several instances in history of Baloch tribes where woman ruled, attended daily diwans, courts, supervised administration and led armed forces in battle fields. Baloch lady “Baanadi” proved her bravery in Baloch history through taking the command of a battle field with her brother “Chakar” (one of the great warriors in Baloch history) and fought with her army till the victory. As a poet says about the bravery of Baanadi that:
“Zoth hama shah a gwatgra rastag” (soon after she reached in the battle field)
“Banadia k thegh wati kashatg” (Banadi had taken out her sword)
“Shah e gon zbrain knhann bstag” (she killed the shah, means the leader of the opposite)
Another example from Baloch history is of a lady Mahnaaz, when her husband Shah Dad who was a chief of a tribe, divorced her just because of a misunderstanding, she gets married with a common poor Baloch to show Shah Dad that she can survive better and she is not an offender, she gave birth the children of Omer (her second husband) and then Shah Dad realized that what actually he had done. She had put her feelings in this poetry which shows that she was deeply hearted by Shah Dad behaviour but she still not gave up and proof her innocence and her family supported her in her decision. As Mahnaaz said;
“Man hama enjeere patan takain” (I am broad leaf of fig (injeer)
“Borz pama kohani saran roston”(I nurtured on the high mountains)
“Geshter pama gat osar shaman boton” (I nurtured in the deep caves and valleys)
“Man hama bag a borz terrain darchkon” (I am the tallest tree in the garden)
“Sar mani h gwata na chandentag” (none of the air could move my head)
“Bashamee horan bond na messeentag”(even heavy rains could not reach into my deep roots)   
Examples of these two Baloch women show the strong position of Baloch women in Baloch society. Where brothers believe in their sisters’ abilities and took them in the battle field in Baanadi’s case. In mahnaaz case a baloch lady took a hard decision of second marriage   realizing her importance in the male dominated society.
My own life experiences as a Baloch woman
   My journey from childhood to adulthood is resonated with variety of colors and shades which feel me proud, strong and valued. As Bashiruddin; A. (2007) says that life has so many colors and shades to offer. As a woman I categorise my life in four stages; first as a daughter, second as a sister, third as a wife and fourth as a professional.
I raised my life in such a Baloch family where boys and girls are treated equally; there is no discrimination on the basis of masculinity and femininity. I never remember a moment in my life where I was forced to feel that I was daughter and I had less facilities and opportunities than my brothers. We (me and my bothers) were having same kind of food, same pocket money, same education facilities, same health facilities and same importance and care from our parent. I remember that some time my father gave more importance to me and my sisters saying that since I don’t have sisters. Still today in many decisions my parents ask our sisters that what we people say about this decision and what should be done.  In Baloch culture early age marriages are common both for boys and girls. And when I reached at the age of 18, various proposals of marriage were coming for me but my mother said that I already experienced such situations thus, I would not allow my daughter to do so. My mother decision was not final. When the time of choosing my life partner came, my parents went for a mutual decision for my life partner. They also asked me about my choice but I left the decision of my life on them. This shows that how much importance my parents gave me to have my opinion and voice. However, only in one situation which made me to realize that I am a girl not a boy. When my father did not allow me to join Sindh Agriculture University but he allowed my brother. At that time I was disappointed but with the passage of time I realized that this act was not gender discrimination but due to social norms and some cultural values my father could not allow me.
As a sister of five brothers I always feel proud because my brothers are just like my friends. They always take care of me and my feelings. My whole childhood was spent in playing with them because of unavailability of my same age fellow female companion at home. Still now I remember those beautiful days of summer where my brothers and I visited the fruit farms and stole fruits like grapes and straw berries. Moreover, we in groups made parties, picnics and enjoyed a healthy and happy childhood days. Even now when anyone of my brothers faces any challenge or difficulty they discuss it with me and ask for solutions and same from my side.  I feel ease and comfort in sitting with my brothers because they give me courage, love and care. This shows the importance of a sister in the eyes of a Baloch brother.
 When I entered into the marital life I even not experienced the incidents of discrimination from my in-law’s family. Importantly, in all the prestigious civilizations, woman is said to be incomplete without a life partner, as same in Baloch culture. In my culture, partners are labeled as each other’s clothes means very important to each other. By the grace of ALLAH my husband like other male members in my life are also very caring, supportive and loving. Although I am a working woman and many of the times I could not even give sufficient time to my home and kids but he leaves no stone unturned to support me and my children. When I got an opportunity to join AKU-IED  for MEd , I still remember the moment where I was feeling fear whether my husband would allow me to join AKU-IED with a three years old kid or not. When I shared this news with my husband, he said it is 100% up to you and any decision you take I would support you. Now he is looking after my kids and I am studying at AKU- IED.  In our seven years of marital life he had never made me realised that he is superior to me which shows the importance of wife in a Baloch society.
In conclusion i would say that I proud to be a Baloch woman because I have always been respected and honored in my society. However, my case cannot be generalized to all Baloch families but more or less there is a similar situation in my context (Makran division). Although in some parts of the province Baloch females are very much restricted. They are not allowed to have their say and cannot go outside. Their participations in public gatherings are not very much encouraging and considered as an act of vulgarity. All these cultural barriers somehow indicate the conservativeness of Baloch society but overall Baloch are very much secular, liberal and progressive.

 Baloch, S. (2008). State-of-women-in-balochistan-the-news. Retrieved May, 16, 2013 from
Bashiruddin, A. (2007) .Becoming a teacher educator: a female perspective. In R. Qureshi, & j. Rarieya. (eds.).Gender and education in Pakistan. Karachi, Pakistan: Oxford. Retrieved May, 14, 2013 from,8309.0.html.
Murri, S. K. (2004). Status of Baloch women in a Baloch society. Retrieved 10 May 16, 2013 from balochunity.org
Sabir, G.B.(1996). Balochi lok dastanain. Quetta: Balochi Academy Quetta.

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Re: 'Status Of Baloch Woman in A Baloch Society' by Mahnaaz Bashir
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2013, 03:30:28 PM »
 [ banok ]
he have to go more, more and more to make other understand what the status of baloch today in our society. as we see the lot we red about the staus of baloch woman, but what the baloch woman is today in this class of time  either we just look back to descibe our past or what shape baloch culture have move on the woman. we need to put the struggle of woman in the moderen style that a baloch woman has a book and a understanding of art and science. i hope Godi you will work more on that. good work.
shumai braath