Social network fury as Pakistani official buys burqas for students|News|Al Jazeera
Pictures revealing girls in burqas purchased for them by local authorities has gone viral in Pakistan and triggered a social media outrage.
A district councillor in the small village of Cheena, in northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, used some 90,000 rupees ($570) of city government funds to buy about 90 burqas for trainees at the government-run middle school in the town.
In the region, lots of ladies traditionally wear burqas which cover them from head to foot – including their faces.
The official, Muzafar Shah, stated he had actually purchased the garments at the request of moms and dads who might not manage them as one of his final acts before stepping down from his four-year period.
“Around 90 percent of the girls currently wear burqas, so I thought these poor girls need to have brand-new burqas,” he told the AFP news firm, adding that formerly he had used the funds to purchase the school a photovoltaic panel, build a bathroom, and acquire brand-new furniture.
He snapped 2 photos – one revealing a classroom full of girls using the burqas, and a second showing them piled on a desk – which promptly ignited outrage on social media.
The garments were purchased “instead of focusing on improving quality of education, implementing rigorous and excellent punishments for: harassing, abusing and raping,” tweeted one user, Fatima Wali.
Gulalai Ismail, a Pakistani females’s rights activist who ran away the country recently for New york city, cheered the outrage.
“I’m grateful to see time is changing and now more & & more people are standing up versus objectification of females in the clothes of protection,” she composed.
Shah said he did not comprehend the criticism.
“The people of the location are extremely pleased with me … had I distributed denims amongst the women, the media and liberals would have praised me,” he said.
Provincial minister of education Zia Ullah Bangash stated a query has been launched in the matter and worried that the garment is not part of the school uniform.
“Our gown code consists of white pants and a loose blue tunic, nevertheless, it is up to women if they wish to dress a burqa over the uniform. We can’t force them,” he stated.
The move came weeks after federal government was required to scrap an order for female trainees to wear veils in 2 other conservative districts of the very same province.
Burqa-wearing is common for centuries in the ethnic Pashtun heartland that straddles the border in between Pakistan and Afghanistan.
This content was originally published here.