Only when counting blood money are women more valued -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Only when counting blood money are women more valued

SUKKUR: For once, a woman’s life was worth more than a man’s. In fact, double. This is what a jirga decided on Friday while settling a five-year bloody dispute between the Sabzoi and Sawand clans. Sixty-five people have been killed since the fight started.

The blood money for a murdered woman was settled at Rs800,000, double that for a man (Rs400,000). The jirga also decided on Rs100,000 for every injured woman and half of that, Rs50,000 for a man.

This decision was not necessarily unique. Increasingly jirgas in Sindh have been settling on higher blood money for women killed in the long-drawn out feuds that often start over straying cattle or patches of land. At the jirgas tribal elders put their heads together to come to a mutually agreed upon verdict that both sides have to follow.

According to a Mahar sardar, Ali Gohar, the compensation is higher for a woman because with her death an entire family is destroyed. But surely as men are the breadwinners, their loss would matter more? Not true on this count either — women earn more in Sindh. Also, women are innocent victims of these feuds and are never the aggressors. It is the men who do all the killing. In Sindh, where it is commonly perceived that the feudal sytem is pro-patriarchial, it is considered shameful for a man to kill a woman.

A total of ten women from the Sabzoi and Sawand tribes lost their lives out of a total of 65 people in the five years since it started. The Sabzoi clan was ordered to pay a total fine of Rs8.95 million.

The jirga was held near the Rohri cement factory. It was presided over by former minister Mir Manzoor Panhwar, Dr Mohammad Ibrahim Jatoi, MNA Gul Mohammad Jakhrani and Pir Abdul Khaliq.

“Today, we have succeeded in bringing an end to bloodshed between the two clans. Thank God,” Sardar Tegho Khan Teghani, who represented the Sabzoi tribe at the jirga, told . “It is my desire to see peace and harmony throughout Sindh.”

The proceedings started in the morning and after Friday prayers, the jirga continued till 5:30 pm. After the Ameens of the jirga held a one-and-a-half hour discussion, the verdict was announced.

The Sabzoi tribe was found guilty of killing 17 Sawand men, including a woman. They were also found guilty of injuring 17 men and nine women. The Sawand clan was found guilty of killing 17 Sabzoi men, including a woman, and injuring seven men and four women. They were fined Rs7.95 million. The fines will be paid to the respective tribal chieftain. The Sabzoi men would pay Rs1 million (the difference between the fines of the two tribes) to the Sawand tribe.

Both the tribes accepted the verdict, embraced each other and took an oath to never fight again.

Strict security measures were adopted in and outside the venue of the jirga. The police and private guards belonging to the clans were on high alert.
Source: The Express Tribune