Status of women in peril after Swat peace deal

The status of Pakistani women in Swat province remains on edge after a Feb. 16 ceasefire agreement between the provincial government and the Taliban, reports the Helsinki Times.

The longevity of the ceasefire, which made Islamic shariah the new law of the land in the besieged northwestern region, remains to be seen. But for now, Swat citizens wait “with bated breath” to see how far the law will pervade their society. The Taliban, who follow a radical interpretation of the shariah, believe that confining women to segregated, non-labor environments honors their “rightful place in Islam.” Swat may soon resemble Taliban-ruled Afghanistan, where all women are required to wear a burqa and be accompanied by a male on any venture outside the home.