The Pulwama attack in Kashmir of 14 February has left the entire country in shock. The untimely death of 46 CRPF jawans has completely changed the dynamics, not just within the country but also India’s relations with other countries. With the state government in a shambles and only a handful of civilians wanting to join politics to bring about law and order, conflict within the state sees no end. Talking about politics, women and how Kashmiris react to the thought of joining politics, social worker and upcoming leader of the Kashmir Women’s Movement, Nadiya Shafi, spoke with SheThePeople.TV. This interview was conducted prior to the Pulwama attack.

“When people talk about Kashmiri women joining politics in the state, they forget that firstly, the society will not allow us to join politics. Secondly, since it is a state that is ridden with insurgency, women don’t want to meddle with its political scenario. We have our own issues that we want to resolve first,” said Shafi, who is also a journalist

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MOTIVATING WOMEN TO COME OUT WITH THEIR UNHEARD STORIES

Elaborating on the issues Kashmiri women face on a daily basis, the young woman who is in her 20s, said that progressive women in the Kashmir Women’s Movement want to spread awareness against the bias which is deeply ingrained in the society’s consciousness. “It is no secret that Kashmir is a patriarchal society. So our main focus is to spread awareness in communities, motivate women to come out of their houses and tell their unheard stories. There is a huge issue of domestic violence there and safety and security is also a matter of concern in the state,” she pointed out.

Shafi revealed that due to perpetual unrest in the valley, a majority of people want their young generation to not stay in Kashmir and study but move out to different parts of the country.

Shafi is one among the few women in Kashmir who are fighting biases and prejudices against women’s issues despite resistance. Due to the work she has put in over the past few years, she has gained enough trust among the people of the valley that they now hear her out and also get readily involved in her workshops. Shafi has conducted a few workshops to spread awareness around menstrual hygiene in Kashmir. Not just that, now the women who attended the workshops have started their own groups in several villages to spread awareness on the issue.

More power to you, Shafi!

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