In the past we only knew that women could be connected with the kitchen and other household chores alone. They did not know other things and their parents wanted them to be an expert in kitchen and household chores.
A very few parents used to send their daughters to school and they too thought that girls were destined to get education till the primary or a maximum of secondary school level. The main problem with parents was that they had a narrow vision about the future of their daughters. They would think that it was enough for daughters to complete their matriculation or FSC after which they should get married as soon as possible or if not continue doing the kitchen and other household chores. This was the basic mindset of parents about their daughters.
I am not criticizing all parents but talking about those who have limited vision about their daughters or women at large. It seems bad when parents prefer their sons more than their daughters. Whatever the son does bad like drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco or whatever is considered fine, and it is also okay that the son is out all the night and no one is going to ask because he is the son – the jewel? Some fathers even feel pride to tell others that their sons are smokers. Some parents also say their son can do whatever he wants but the daughter can’t and is expected only to do the kitchen work.
Amid all this, there emerged a daughter of Chitral who, as we knew through the social media, started playing football at the national and international level in the year 2016.
In the beginning, Karishma Ali faced many problems. People criticized her and used abusive words against her on social media. But salute to the girl who faced it bravely and never looked back or succumbed to the pressure. In 2016, Karishma represented Pakistan at the Jubilee Games in Dubai and won a silver medal. She has been playing football in national and international tournaments and is also the founder of “Chitral Women’s Sports Club” which was opened in 2018, and has 60 members who are being trained for football and other sports.
Karishma told a TV channel that her father gave her full support to reach her destination.
As Karishma continued working hard to achieve her dreams, even those who initially criticized her became her supporters and admirers. This is our society and this is our people.
Karishma faced these challenges and made it possible for other girls who are still stuck in the kitchen; they too have dreams but cannot achieve them due to lack of parental support or restrictions imposed by their parents. This is the first step taken by Karishma, now it’s time for those parents who have engaged their talented daughter/sisters in household chores to realize that he world is changing very fast and we are still hanging onto the Stone Age. There are many Karishmas but they don’t have the opportunity to come out and show up to enhance their skills and move on.
Through this I request Deputy Commissioner Lower Chitral Naveed Ahmed to provide security to the “Chitral Women Football Club” that is training aspiring girls to play football and learn other sports. It will be a great initiative by the DC to secure the daughters of Chitral.
(The writer is student of Mass Communication at International Islamic University Islamabad).