Facebook unites Kashmiri women on ‘Naari Shakti’

Facebook unites Kashmiri women on ‘Naari Shakti’

File Photo for representation

In trouble-torn Kashmir - where social media is often under scanner for promoting separatist sentiment –a Facebook group offers Kashmiri women an exclusive platform to emerge as a strong force of over 30,000 and counting members.

They all are working for the cause of womancipation or ‘Naari Shakti’ in the conservative Kashmiri society.

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Named “Yakjut”, meaning unity, the group every day holds vibrant debates and discussions on social issues, with diverse opinions from women of different backgrounds. The discussions and issues range from monthly periods to choice of suites to cookery classes and much more. The membership, however, is restricted exclusively for women. 

To ensure a “fool-proof” mechanism, the aspirant is given a membership only if recommended by the previous two members.

Started in January this year by Syed Hanaz Tariq (23), an automation engineer from Kashmir, “Yakjut” is celebrated among a majority of Kashmiri women using social media across the globe.

“Tired by a barrage of taboos in the valley around women, I thought of creating a private Facebook group where the ladies can gather and interact freely with each other,” said Hanaz and added the name “Yakhjut” was suggested by her father who was supportive of this idea from its inception. 

“The group helps the ladies to understand the power of unity which is required in all spheres of life and has members from diverse backgrounds. Kashmiri women, whether staying in the Valley or outside, are connecting through this platform,” she said.

The group is currently managed by nine moderators who volunteered to ensure the safety of the members. “All our moderators are Kashmiri women who working very well and managing their homes, jobs, education and giving all-time for the betterment of the group,” Hanaz adds.

The group is not restricted to just social discussions, even homemakers seeking financial independence sell home-made bakery products, pickles, honey, jewellery, and many more things. 

It is also a platform for women to seek assistance and recommendations from fellow ladies. The group helps new start-ups run by young women too, by giving them a space to reach out to their potential customers.

“Such spaces not only promote economic activity but also allow for women of different ages and groups to meet, mingle, de-stress and create a sense of community. It’s not easy to keep women together but I am happy that it is happening” Hanaz added.

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