Overcoming Violence

Stories of Gender Based Violence




Pakistani Shabana received help from her family to get away from a controlling husband. She is now a politician fighting for the rights of women.

Shabana from Mansehra in northern Pakistan lived for many years in a marriage where her husband controlled all her movements. – I was not permitted to go out. Even for a visit to the doctor there was someone accompanying me. Shabana’s husband thought that her father had given her too much self-esteem during her upbringing. Her family, and her father in particular, supported her choice to leave her husband; today Shabana has obtained an education and she is working. – I thank Allah for having a job that enables me to earn money in order to support my children. I am no longer dependent upon anybody.

Through the women’s organization Khwendo Khor she has got a new understanding of what it means to be a woman. – A woman is powerfull, she can cope and survive many challenging situations. She can do the same things as men in the society, she can do the same work as men can. This understanding led to her standing for election on the local level in Battal. – If I win this election I will first and foremost work for women’s rights and development, she said. The result of the election came a few days after this interview – Shabana was elected.