KARACHI, May 10,2013 (LUBNA JERAR NAQV / UPI Next) — In a remote electoral district of Pakistan’s northern tribal region, where men traditionally dominate and violence against women is routine, 45-year-old Badam Zari is the first female candidate for a seat in the National Assembly in Saturday’s planned elections.
Zari is running as an independent candidate from the Bajaur district of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas, situated along the Afghan border west of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and the Swat Valley — a Taliban stronghold rife with violence. The Taliban have threatened candidates with death, although Zari told UPI Next she has not received any threats.
She is running against 24 male candidates, including a local landlord member of the socially conservative and Islamist Jamaat-e-Islam.
“Although I am uneducated, I thought I should do something for the people, especially the women of my area,” she said by cell phone.