The Norman Transcript

Opinion

October 29, 2013

No women leaders? No peace in region

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Today, women in my homeland are gaining new rights and increasingly asserting themselves in politics — and this momentous shift in traditional gender relationships opens up new possibilities for the pursuit of democracy and regional peace. Women in civic associations and in government can lead the way to pluralistic democracy and support international negotiations toward a sustainable peace in the region.

The best way to put the state’s house in order is by further developing responsive and pluralistic democratic government. Historical foundations for pluralist democracy in Jammu and Kashmir were established by the revolutionary metamorphosis of the agrarian economy during the 1950s, which had groundbreaking political consequences in a previously feudal economy.

Building on the earlier gains, a pluralistic government can now ensure further economic, social and educational gains for women and marginalized groups.

The first step is for local government to assure basic equality. Women citizens should be accorded equal rights with men in all fields of national life — economic, cultural, political and in government services. Women should have the right to work in every line of employment for terms and wages equal to those for men.

Women would be assured of equality with men in education, social insurance and job conditions, The law should protect mothers and children but not use motherhood as an excuse to hamstring women.

Not just in Jammu and Kashmir, but in many parts of the world, women can play an important role in establishing a more inclusive democracy and new forums for citizen cooperation.

Women offer new ideas, build broad-based political coalitions and work to bridge organizational divides. Women active in politics must aim not just to improve the position of their particular organizations but also to forge connections across differences to resolve conflicts and rebuild a society.

Women, I think, more so than men, understand that the whole population, after all, and just not any one faction, has suffered from the ongoing conflict. Let the women lead. They will help bring peace.

Dr. Nyla Ali Khan is a faculty member at the University of Oklahoma and a member of the Scholars Strategy Network. She is the author of “Islam, Women, and Violence in Kashmir: Between India and Pakistan” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010) and “Parchment of Kashmir: History, Society, and Polity” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • Congress should close gaps

    Of all of Edward Snowden’s revelations about electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency, the most unsettling was that the government was accumulating vast numbers of records about the telephone calls of American citizens. In ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Border obsession overlooks trade

    Texas Gov. Rick Perry made headlines recently by ordering 1,000 National Guard troops to the border. This bravado comes at a price: $12 million a month. Perry plans to send the bill the federal government. That’s one way to finance your ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Intercession badly needed in this world

    Yesterday was my feast day, or as the Italians call it, my “onomastico.” Since I live in the United States, it went completely unnoticed. If I lived in Italy, however, I would have been showered with cards and phone calls. That’s because ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Help better than commentary

    For the last seven years, I have helped run Hands Helping Paws, an animal welfare and rescue group that fosters Norman’s abandoned animals and advocates for spay and neuter initiatives to reduce our community’s problems with stray and ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Stick to the sports

    Editor, The Transcript: Why must we, especially us nice conservatives, be subjected to political commentary in a sports column? I hear/view Fox News routinely and find their coverage quite acceptable. I also hear/view CNN and MSNBC. I ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Corporation Commission should should evaluate quakes, fracturing

    Editor, The Transcript: Is your house at risk of being damaged in an earthquake because of fracking? Maybe. We’ve seen more earthquakes and tremors in Oklahoma seven months into 2014 than in the two previous years combined. At the same ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Norman can stop fracking before it escalates

    Editor, The Transcript: There are 163 fracked wells within Norman city limits. With growing attention to health and safety concerns, the city is considering changes to the existing oil and gas ordinance....

    July 27, 2014

  • We should be offended by things that matter

    Editor, The Transcript: I’m offended. Why you say? I live in the USA, in Norman — a great town. What could possibly offend me? I’ll tell you. It’s people that are offended by the most meaningless things (what to call an evergreen tree in ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Porch leap looked muchbigger as a kid

    It’s no secret that porch designs have changed over the years. Drive through new Norman developments and look at the porches. Most only have room for a potted plant and a spot to drop those UPS packages, no place for a porch swing or ...

    July 27, 2014

  • State, local jobmarkets look up

    A tight labor market is often a big problem for economic development professionals. They need to be able to promise companies that there are willing workers in the community’s labor pool....

    July 26, 2014