QUETTA, Pakistan -- In the face of what seems to be increasing targeted killings, Hazara women in Pakistan's western Balochistan Province are fighting back with a mix of guilt and tradition.
During a rally in the regional capital on April 2, dozens threw their bangles, bracelet-like traditional ornaments connected closely with a woman's honor, at the gates of the government building.
It was a simple act, but one that was highly symbolic of the shame they feel toward the government in Quetta and its inability to protect them.
The women, clad in traditional dress, condemned the authorities' inaction when it comes to attacks on Hazaras.
The organizer of the protest, the Hazara Democratic Party, says members of the Shi'ite minority have been increasingly subjected to targeted killings in the past decade.
Dozens of Hazaras have been killed in attacks attributed to extremist groups, including Lashkar-e Jangi and local Taliban militants. In late March, five Hazaras were killed in the outskirts of Quetta.
Nazanin Zaman, leader of the party's women's wing, said officials and law enforcement agencies have failed to address the issue.
"People are being killed in large numbers but no action is being taken," Zaman said.
The women demanded the authorities take measures to stop sectarian killings and to provide security for Hazaras.
Balochistan is home to some 100,000 Hazaras, many of them impoverished laborers.
Written by Farangis Najibullah, based on reporting by RFE/RL Radio Mashaal correspondent Khudai Noor Naser in Quetta