UCA News
Contribute

Pakistani traders apologize for ban on women shoppers

Church of Pakistan official supports punishment for errant shopkeepers rather than banning unaccompanied females
Pakistani traders apologize for ban on women shoppers

Doaba in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. (Photo: Mapio.net)

Published: August 18, 2020 09:19 AM GMT
Updated: August 18, 2020 09:48 AM GMT

Traders in northern Pakistan have apologized for announcing a punishment for shopkeepers dealing with women shopping unaccompanied.

“A few days ago, Pasban-e-Doaba issued a ban on social media against women visiting the bazaar without men. We renounce this responsibility since it is the responsibility of the state,” said a local trade union in a notice issued on Aug. 17 to the deputy commissioner.

“The objective of the ban was to stop immoral activities behind the curtains of the shops and end vulgar and obscene practices from the society. We expect help from Hangu [district] authorities in this regard. We apologize for any word or statement against any institution or law.”

The notice was released in Doaba in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province after deputy commissioner Mansoor Arshad warned trade union Pasban-e-Doaba of strict action after the group prohibited women from shopping without men and announced a punishment for shopkeepers permitting such customers.

“If a woman is left in a shop without a family member, the shopkeeper will be fined 50,000 rupees [US$298] and his shop will be sealed for one week. He will be expelled from the shop on repeated violations,” stated the traders in a notice.

Social media users condemned the ban. “Looks like Taliban regaining the strength and now trying to control/influence #PMSelect & his puppets!” S. Malaika Raza, a peace activist, tweeted.

Alice R. Garrick, the Church of Pakistan's director of Raiwind Diocese's women's desk, supported punishment for shopkeepers.

“Women often complain of harassment in female shopping markets. Women in Northern Province already practice purdah [seclusion] and wear burqas [Islamic coverings]. Their complaints lead to such absurd bans. Male shopkeepers need disciplining instead of banning female shoppers,” Garrick told UCA News.

Militancy-plagued Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province has a tradition of banning women voters through local jirga (assembly) laws enforcing local traditions and Sharia law.

In 2015, women were barred from voting in by-elections in Lower Dir district, a stronghold of the hardline Islamist Jamaat-e-Islami Party. In 2013, Muslim clerics issued a ruling against women shopping unaccompanied in Karak district during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting.

Help UCA News to be independent
Dear reader,
Trafficking is one of the largest criminal industries in the world, only outdone by drugs and arms trafficking, and is the fastest-growing crime today.
Victims come from every continent and are trafficked within and to every continent. Asia is notorious as a hotbed of trafficking.
In this series, UCA News introduces our readers to this problem, its victims, and the efforts of those who shine the light of the Gospel on what the Vatican calls “these varied and brutal denials of human dignity.”
Help us with your donations to bring such stories of faith that make a difference in the Church and society.
A small contribution of US$5 will support us continue our mission…
William J. Grimm
Publisher
UCA News
Asian Bishops
Latest News
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia