[VIDEO]: Here’s everything that happened in the historic women-only open court held in Lower Dir

The court participants also demanded a special 10 percent quota of seats for women in the upcoming local bodies' elections.

At a time when militancy in the area is rising again, Lower Dir\’s local administration held a women-only open court for the first time in history. The objective of the gathering was to resolve issues specifically relating to women.

Sumaira Shams, a local MPA of ruling PTI and a resident of Lower Dir, says:

The provincial government organized a women-only open court in Lower Dir, a district where women had once been barred from voting in the general elections. The open court gave the administration an insight into problems faced by working women in the district. I believe that the women-only gathering happened for the first time in the community.

Over 50 women and female officials from police, social welfare, and health departments, among others, participated in the meeting and expressed their demands for many things, including a women\’s police station, separate units for women at NADRA offices, and women photographers in the passport office. The court participants also demanded a special 10 percent quota of seats for women in the upcoming local bodies\’ elections.

Following the discussion, Shawana Haleem, the Assistant Commissioner, issued orders for redressal of some pressing issues being faced by the women. Shams stated:

Women reported some problems related to Baitul Mal, which were resolved on the spot as officials had been taken on board. There were other issues that I took in redressing responsibility for by bringing them before the provincial assembly and the government.

Shams further added:

The open courts have been regularly held on the instruction of the PTI chairman and Prime Minister Imran Khan. The reports about the open courts are routinely sent to the chief minister\’s complaint cell. The timelines for resolution of issues are also set in the open courts.

It should be noted that during the Swat insurgency, Lower Dir was the stronghold of the Taliban. Last week, posters were pasted on city walls to warn citizens against any cooperation with the government. Despite this, a women\’s court was held in the area.

Regarding this, Shams expressed:

My party believes in women\’s empowerment. The Lower Dir district was initially thought of as a stronghold of religious parties, but now my party has gathered a majority for the next elections.

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