An area of Pakistan known for its patriarchal structures, Taliban influence and discriminatory treatment of women seems an unlikely place to find a transformative justice institution. Yet the women-only jirga established in Garhi Habibullah in 2017 appears to be just that. Jirgas are a form of customary court found in the Pukhtoon belt of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Used traditionally, for centuries, to resolve disputes and conflict through dialogue, their membership has always been men-only.
In this Development Policy blog, Miranda Forsyth considers what such an women-only customary court approach might look like in Papua New Guinea or Vanuatu or Solomon Islands, including local urban komitis and peace and justice mediation initiatives.