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Himalaya

Day 9: To Chitral

Michael Palin - HimalayaDespite their international clientele they observe the local custom. Ghazala, for instance, has elected to observe purdah and cannot walk into the town uncovered.

I join her and Siraj as they walk the dogs on the hillside behind the hotel. She enjoys this walk because she doesn't feel trapped by having to wear the veil. As we pick our way through artemisia scrub we talk about the two standards of behaviour. Though Pakistan's constitution makes no discrimination on grounds of gender, for traditional reasons most women choose to remain behind the veil. This cannot but result in some inequality, however self-inflicted, and it shows up in national literacy figures. For men literacy in Pakistan is around 60 per cent; for women, 35 per cent.
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PALIN'S GUIDES

  • Series: Himalaya
  • Chapter: Day 9: To Chitral
  • Country/sea: Pakistan
  • Place: Chitral
  • Book page no: 29

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