The Perils of Jirga and the Miserable Plight of Women
Keywords:Jirga, Jirgees, Pashtuns, Disputes, Swara
This study was conducted to critique and asses the institution of Jirga and its practice of Swara. The data was collected through vis-à-vis semi-structured interviews from the Jirgees and Swaras, the two most proximate stakeholders of the institution of Jirga. For the analysis of data, the tool of Thematic Analysis, developed by Braun and Clarke (2015), was used. The findings of the study show that Jirga — besides being unconstitutional — is involved in multifarious inhumane practices and its members are mostly uneducated. Its decisions are completely void of the canon international law and human rights. Jirga is involved in the felonious practice of Swara. Swaras — women atoned by Jirga in reprisal for an offence — are living wretched lives facing multifarious forms of violence, discrimination, humiliation and other forms of inhumane behaviors. Besides, they are suffering from depression, inferiority complexes, suicidal attempts, malnutrition, verbal abuse, etc. The findings also imply that illiteracy, passivity and condonement of the judiciary and law enforcing agencies, and the higher rate of crimes in the area are the factors contributing to the practice of Swara. In the light of the findings, the researcher recommends that the practice of reprisal reiterated by Jirga should be completely extirpated. Education should be disseminated and the government and law enforcing agencies should work in proximity to mitigate the rate of crimes in the area. The government should frame inclusive economic policies in order to promote peace and prosperity in the area.
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