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The struggle of Kashmiri women during Indian lockdown – World

Although men tend to be the target, Kashmir women suffer confinement in their own less visible form.

A mother unable to receive hospital updates about her premature newborn. A bride who could not celebrate the wedding of her dreams. The photojournalist who runs twice as much harassment by the security forces because of her profession and gender.

Since the Hindu-nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stripped occupied Kashmir of its autonomy in August and placed the Muslim majority region under a massive security blockade ─ now in its fourth month ─ life has been a struggle for The common cashmere.

Indian soldiers from outside the region flooded the streets and thousands were arrested. He curfew. The Indian government cut the majority of the region's communications with the outside world, cut off the Internet and telephone services. They even stopped public transport services.

The authorities have eased some restrictions, raising the curfew, removing obstacles and restoring landlines and some mobile phone services, but the other measures are still in force. India says they are necessary to avoid the violent street protests that are common in the region.

Sumaira Bilal, wife of Kashmir detainee Bilal Ahmed, talks to her two-year-old daughter as they sit down to take pictures on a staircase in her house in Srinagar. Ahmed was arrested the night of August 5. Sumaira says her daughter frequently points to the window and calls her father "Baba, Baba, when will you be back?" ─ AP
Mantasha Binti Rashid, founder of the Kashmir women's collective, sits for a photograph in Srinagar. Since the closure, his organization has seen a marked increase in violence against women, as victims have no way of seeking help. She cites examples: a woman attacked and taken to a hospital covered in burns by 90%, many of them beaten by husbands or expelled from their homes, another faced with abandonment. "Women suffer disproportionately," he said. ─ AP
A woman from Kashmir, Biba Malla, represents a photograph inside her house on the outskirts of Srinagar. Malla's cousin died on August 31, but was informed about it almost a week later. "I missed the funeral and Fateha Khawani. Our men have not yet visited for fear of being arrested by the police on the way to our relative's house," he said. ─ AP

While men historically represent the majority of protesters in the region and are often the first physically arrested or ill-treated in security measures, experts say that Kashmir women are suffering from confinement in their own less visible way.

Zahida Jahangir's son was born premature and weak. He was transferred from the clinic where he was born to the neonatal intensive care unit in a children's hospital across the city. The blockade made it almost impossible to visit your child or even contact the hospital.

Zahida separated from her son during the first 20 days of her life, and although she is now healthy, the experience has created what she says is a pain that only a mother could know and left her with regrets that will last a lifetime.

Kulsuma Rameez's wedding was scheduled for closing and he couldn't go shopping for the wedding dress he dreamed of. Instead, he married a dress borrowed in a small ceremony attended by some relatives and neighbors. After the ceremony, he had to walk to his new home since the roads were blocked.



Photojournalist Masrat Zahra was covering Friday’s first protest since closing when a police officer threatened to kick her. She points out that Kashmir women cannot leave their homes without a male partner for fear of being harassed by soldiers. However, she does not flinch.

"You cannot remain silent," said Masrat. “If you go out and talk, someone will hear your voice. Going to work is my way of protesting. "

Kashmir photojournalist Masrat Zahra represents a photograph during a protest outside Srinagar. "I will kick you with my boots and take you to the governor's house," a policeman told Zahra while covering the first protest on Friday since the close of August 5. ─ AP
The newly married Kashmir woman, Kulsuma Rameez, 24, represents photographs inside her house on the outskirts of Srinagar. Kulsuma says he couldn't buy his wedding and borrowed a relative's wedding dress. ─ AP
In this October 17 photo, a woman from Kashmir, Zahida Jahangir, holds her two-month-old son, Mohammad Taimor, and depicts a photograph inside her house in Lolab, about 128 kilometers (80 miles) north of Srinagar . Taimor was born premature and put on a respirator in a children's hospital while Zahida received treatment at another hospital. Due to the blockage, there was no way to tell Zahida when her son was ready for breast milk, so the hospital settled for a milk supplement. Zahida met with Taimor 20 days after he was first put on a fan. ─ AP

Ateeqa Begum has lived alone since her only child, Fasil Aslam Mir, 22, the only breadwinner in the family, was arrested on her way home after going to look for medication the day the confinement began.

"My son was transferred to a jail in an Indian city and I have no means to travel there to see him," he said.

A doctor in a hospital in the main city of Kashmir, Sabahat Rasool, says he has seen the closure forever alter lives. It tells the story of a pregnant woman who refused to be admitted to the hospital because she had no way of telling her family that she would not return home and did not want them to worry that she had been kidnapped. They took her unconscious the next day.

"She survived but lost her unborn baby," Sabahat said.

A Kashmir doctor Sabahat Rasool sits for a photograph inside his clinic in Srinagar. Rasool says he has seen the closure alter lives forever. ─ AP
A Kashmir Protestant woman, Jawahira Banoo, takes her 3-year-old daughter Rutba and depicts a photograph outside a closed shop with spray-painted graffiti after a protest outside Srinagar. Banoo says he does not lose the opportunity to go outside to protest. ─ AP
Sahana Fatima, the first female entrepreneur in print who runs the only sports magazine in the Kashmir Valley, sits for a photograph inside her office in Srinagar. Fatima says they could not print the August edition due to the blockade. “Even if we had decided to print, what would we write about? Nothing happened when it came to sports activities. Everything has stopped. ” ─ AP

Source: https://www.dawn.com/news/1515642/the-struggle-of-kashmiri-women-during-indian-lockdown

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