Tribal women in Kurram Agency continue to be a commodity even today under the age-old tribal customary law known as Turizona.
They are categorised as ‘married,’ ‘virgin,’ ‘widow’ and ‘abducted’ with each one of them carrying a different price tag.
Turizona, an initiative undertaken in 1931 by Maj Ross Hurst, the then political agent of Kurram Agency, categorises women in multiple sub categories and each varying category contains a different price tag.
Under Turizona, every tribal woman carries a price tag defined under ‘Rasmana’ as the amount of money the heir(s) of a woman are entitled to receive when she gets married.
In case a woman is abducted, Rasmana becomes effective. The aggrieved party, the heirs of the abducted woman, is entitled to receive a specific amount of money in an effort to settle the issue.
As per the law, if the abducted woman married a man of her choice (from her abductors) the Rasmana was to be paid as per the normal fixed rates. However, if she was married forcefully, the Rasmana would get doubled as per the law.
As per Rasmana determined back in 1940s (which is applicable even in the 21st century), bridegroom was to give five to seven sheep to the bride`s family, 10-13 kilogrammes ghee, a specific quantity of rice, wheat flour, salt, tea, gur, sugar, Kurut (dried yoghurt balls), gate money two Kabuli rupees and few other items to the relatives of bride at the time of marriage.
The bridegroom was also liable to pay a certain amount in cash to the bride`s family at the time of their marriage.
Called as Mahar, the bridegroom, in the old days, was liable to pay an amount of 12 Kabuli rupees to 100 Kabuli rupees to the bride’s family.
Since the law has neither been scrapped nor amended, it holds ground with all its insensitive discriminatory clauses, dealing women as tradable commodity on sale with a shelf price.
Practice of receiving cash amount in the name of `Mahar` from the bridegroom still exists.
The federal government has planned starting documentation of customary laws in other tribes in Fata to repeal the existing Frontier Crimes Regulation (F CR) with the new Tribal Areas Rewaj Act.