Pashtun Women Fold Burqa for More Education, Work
Zuhra Nafees drinks in the sights and sounds of Peshawar’s riotous marketplace with newfound enthusiasm. A year ago the grate of a burqa separated her from the outside world. Today the late 20-something is clad in the traditional Muslim chador, the long cloth that covers her body from head to toe, but leaves her face completely unobscured. Now, with the spread of education and exposure to the media, observers have also detected a sharp decline in the numbers of Pakistanis choosing to wear the burqa in the last few years. Saleswomen can now be seen in some large stores, while females have taken posts in banking, IT, and businesses trading in carpets and gems.