Sunita Parmar Menghwar, the first Hindu woman to contest the upcoming provincial assembly elections from Tharparkar in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, has refused to bow down to political pressure and withdraw her candidature. Sunita, a woman from Hindu Meghwar community, has been facing increasing pressure from the male-dominated feudal landlords in the impoverished Tharparkar district not to contest the elections on July 25. But Sunita insisted she wanted to challenge the status quo based on the feudal-electoral system in Tharparkar and has filed her nomination papers as an independent candidate.
The 30-year old insisted she is contesting the elections because no political party had done anything to improve the lives and facilities for the people of Thar. “Thari women are even ready to fight the lion now after so many disappointments,” she said. Tharparkar has the highest number of Hindus minorities in Pakistan. According to census 2017, the population of Tharparkar is 1.6 million out of which around half of the population is Hindus.
Sunita said she wanted to play a role in resolving the issues of healthcare, clean drinking water and education for the people of Thar. In a video message, that is going viral, Sunita blamed ruling political parties in Sindh for worsening conditions of women, especially in education and health sector.
In March, another Hindu woman, Krishna Kumari Kolhi, became the first-ever Hindu Dalit woman senator in the Muslim-majority country after she was nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party for the polls to the reserve women’s seat in the Senate.