Illiterate Pakistani Woman Makes History – Will Run for Office in Tribal Region (Video)

badam zari
Badam Zari wants to be the first woman in parliament from the Taliban-infested tribal region. (Dawn)

An illiterate Pakistani housewife has made history by becoming the first woman to run for parliament from the country’s northwest tribal region.

Al Arabiya reported:


A Pakistani housewife, who cannot read or write despite being married to a headteacher, has made history by becoming the first woman approved to run for election in the Taliban-infested tribal belt.

Badam Zari, 53, has little chance of winning, but her enthusiasm has been seized upon as a step towards emancipation in one of the most conservative parts of Pakistan, where women live in purdah and many are barred from even voting.

“I am contesting the election with passion, with a clean heart and a clear conscience. My passion is to educate the future generation, girls and women, and to serve them,” she told AFP in a telephone interview from Bajaur district.

“I know I am the first woman to contest and I am hopeful that I will win.”

Bajaur is one of seven districts that make up Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). The semi-autonomous region of mountains, valleys and caves is one of the most deprived, impoverished and ill-educated in the country.

It has been a stronghold for Afghan Taliban, Al-Qaeda and other Pakistani militant groups, and for years a battleground between the army and insurgents.

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