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Posts tagged with: Women

An Evening of Colors and Deep Thoughts rejecting Violence Against Women

A Poster and Debate competition for students organized by SWO held at KATI

The message was loud and clear. With their texts and textures, boys and girls from the city of lights expressed in clear terms that they reject Violence Against Women (VAW) in the society and are motivated to stop it.

More than sixty young artists and speakers made this commitment on Sunday, December 6, 2009 at a ‘Poster and Debate Competition’ for school children organized by Sunshine Welfare Organization (SWO)
in collaboration with UNIFEM. It was held at the Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI),Karachi.
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SWO & UNIFEM – Celebrates 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence

Take Back the TechSWO with UNIFEM Pakistan celebrates ‘16 Days of Activism against Gender Violence’ Campaign 2009 with youth of Pakistan – Thinking about Women – a little differently!

These are testing times for women in Pakistan. The country ranks 106th out of 137 on the Gender-related Development Index and 66th out of 75 on the Gender Empowerment Measurement Index. Despite religious, constitutional and legal rights, women’s position in the society is weak.

With each passing day, conditions are getting miserable as women are subjected to more extreme forms of violence and exclusion. Incidents of honour killing, rape, fire and acid burning, domestic violence, dowry-abuse, trafficking, under-age marriage and trade of young girls among tribes for dispute settlement are gruesome and frequent. Women in rural and poor communities are more vulnerable to violence and crime, committed most often by their own family members, in the name of law, religion, customs and tradition. It is sad that incidents of physical and psychological torture upon women are increasing but grossly under-reported in the media or other public reporting systems.

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Becoming an IDP – Real life experience of two females from Swat

Foize Nasim interviewed Saira, a 20 years old girl from Mingora, Swat at a training centre set up by PPAF at Jalala Camp.

Saira has 7 sisters and 3 brothers. 3 of her sisters are married, two of whom were living at Jalala with their families. One sister, Farhat was missing with her husband, who had decided to stay back at Mingora. Saira and her family had been calling her cell phone and PTCL line but had no news from her.

Saira had studied till class 6 and was currently enrolled in a religious course for becoming an alima at Mingora. Her father worked as a laborer but her family owned a sweetshop which was blown up last year when the Taliban arrived. She could not say why they had targeted her family’s shop.

Saira mentioned that she had arrived two months ago and they were 13 people living in two tents at Jalala Camp. She said her family had walked from 7 a.m. till 9 p.m. from Mingora when they decided to leave. They reached Batkhail on foot and then rented a car for Rs.12,000 to reach Jalala at 1 a.m. the next day.
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MPA Shumaila Rana caught red-handed in Credit Card Fraud

Shumaila RanaAn MPA Shumaila Rana who has been a member of the Punjab Assembly on a chosen reserved seat for women has recently been caught red handed using a stolen credit card and making two separate purchases to the tune of Rs. 80,000 [~$1000]. The owner of the credit card Zaira Malik when she reported them stolen the credit card company informed her that purchases had already been made in a nearby Jewelry store and a mens store. When Zaira went to the shops they had CCTV camera showing the MPA making these purchases.

Zaira Malik attended classes at a health centre in Lahore after placing her bag in a room at the club the MPA Shumaila Rana left the class early and as Zaira picked up her bag, she found her two credit cards — one of UBL and other Bank Al-Falah — missing from the bag. She immediately called the credit card helpline of the two banks to inform that her cards were misplaced and block both the cards. But the officials at help centers of both banks told Zaira that someone had swiped the cards for Rs80,000 at two separate shops, one of them a jewelery shop, she panicked and visited the shops. The shop owner showed the CCTV footage to the card owner in which it was proved that Shumaila Rana had swiped the credit cards to purchase jewelery and clothes.
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Women to Reclaim Public Spaces – A Seminar by WAF

A Programme of Defiance & Resistance

by the Womens Action Forum

Karachi Press Club
8th May, 2009, 5:30 – 7:30pm

Womens Action Forums invites you to a programme highlighting the implications of Talibanisation for women, artists, and minorities in particular, and to our country in general. The Talibans have created terror through slaughtering of people, bomb blasts, kidnappings, and destruction of properties which has led to severe restrictions on women, and displacements of thousands of people from their homes. It seems their militancy has encouraged some men and women in some urban centers of Pakistan to admonish and threaten women on their mode of dress and their presence in public places. This is a deliberate strategy to purge public spaces of women’s presence.
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Nestle Nesvita – Women of Strength 2009

nestle-nesvita-women-of-strengthFor the past few days womens issues have been shoved into the spot light, it initiated a huge debate sparked by the flogging video which aired across the nation and consequentially many issues arise as to how Islam treats Muslim women. With all the hype surrounding the womens issue I was intrigued by the advertising campaign being run by Nestle Nesvita where they are concentrating their campaign around women, granted this is a commercial venture and an attempt to promote their product to the local market but I must applaud their attempt to think-outside-the-box in helping to empower women in Pakistan and become a viable and productive force in the future of Pakistan.

The project is webbed into an online as well as an off-line campaign, the banner adverts targeting readers across Pakistan pushing the female readers to an online form where 26 random lucky participants will be called on a TV show engaging them into a stimulating session where the candidate will share her aspirations and talk freely about the obstacles that she will face in achieving those goals. The team of professionals and experts will then guide her through various exercises and motivational suggestions on how to overcome, setting an example for other women who may follow likewise across Pakistan.
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Misogyny, Patriarchy & Imperialism

Guest blog by Abira Ashfaq posted via the Peoples’ Resistance Mailing List


flogging-in-swatI reacted with horror, and resisted seeing the flogging video on youtube, only to be bombarded with it later on television. I got angry with my mother who recounted the scene with full emotionalism, saying it brought tears to her eyes. I said it was upsetting me too much. By evening I was a bit more objective. But not really. The violent and ferocious messaging in the video was clear. Wars are carved on the bodies of women. Women are raped, tortured, and beaten to further military objectives. Only months ago, news surfaced about Zarina Marri’s torture in a military prison in Baluchistan. And now this whipping. The trauma of the girl is fathomable as the video’s purpose is to make you fathom what fate awaits the women of Pakistan: A naked and public display of fanatical male rage, backed by an authoritative and brutal ‘Islamic’ state.

Is the fear real?

Is this what will happen to Karachi? Our beloved Karachi — the city of lights, tambolas, musical evenings, film festivals, and dharnas? The reality is that Karachi is a schizophrenic city which contains class apartheid, and a gender one too. Most women of our city are in “closed doors” economic apartheid. There is rampant Islamization– the liberal kind that does not conflict with privatization, and the offensive kind that seeks to seclude women further in Hijab and the home.

This offensive kind is still the palatable extremism, one grown familiar on us since the 80s; the overt and militant kind displayed in the video is what we really dread. Is the fear real? Saqib is just back from Mithi in Thar, and reports of a new phenomenon of fresh madrassas with foreign students walking all over the place. A tidbit, sure. But perhaps the fear of it reaching Karachi is not a remote one.
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Lahore Protest – Over 2000 against Talbanisation

Report by Farooq Tariq

Over 2000 joined a rally in Lahore against Talbanisation and terrorism. The rally was organized by Citizens of Lahore, a loose platform of different social, political and trade unions organization. The rally started from General Post Office Chouck (GPO) and ended at Charing Cross on Mall Road Lahore. Majority of the participants were women and youth.

Slogans like “No to Talbanisation, no to terrorism, stop flogging women, behind terrorism is uniform, are dying of hunger because General Head Quarters (GHQ) is taking it all, no to religious fundamentalism, no to state terrorism, we want peace, people united will never be defeated” were raised by the participants.

A lot of banners and placards were carried by the rally participants. Asma Jehanghir, chairperson Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Salima Hashmi daughter of Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ghulam Abbas of Pakistan Peoples Party, Yousaf Baluch chairman National Trade Union Federation, Tehseen of South Asia Partnership, Tanvir Jahan of Youth Commission for Human Development, Sher Mohammed of Swat, Iqbal Haider of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Jugnu Mohsan of Women Action Forum and myself spoke at the end of rally.
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Protests in Karachi & Lahore against the Flogging incident

Peoples' ResistanceA number of protests are being organized across the country to condemn the flogging incident in SWAT where a young woman was flogged in public for being seen with another man on the street

Labor Party Pakistan & Peoples Resistance
LOCATION: Press Conference and protest at Karachi Press Club
TIME: 4:00pm on Saturday 4th April – I
RSVP at the Karachi Facebook Event Page

Student Action Committee
LOCATION: Starting from GPO Chowk to Charing Cross, Mall Road Lahore.
TIME: at 4:30pm on Saturday 4th April
RSVP at the Lahore Facebook event page

Public flogging of a woman in SWAT – is this the Islamic way of handing out justice?

A shocking video which is making news across the local media in Pakistan of a women being publicly lashed in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Her crime being that she was seen publicly with a man who was not her husband. I think merely watching this video makes me cringe at the skewed concept of ‘Sharia’ being enforced in our northern areas, I believe this is not what Islam preaches


I agree with Faisal K when he says “All the women leaders in the assemblies of Pakistan upon seeing this should resign from their posts in protest” This is outrageous even in the light of the five women who were buried alive in Baluchistan. A search on Bloggers.pk shows that Meher Bokhari a show host on Samaa is planing to do a show today at 7pm on this controversial issue of public flogging. Also covered in The Guardian

Revolution in the Islamic World by Women

Guest post by Farrah K Raja

HijabRecently I have been frequently coming across the word REVOLUTION over and over again. Thinking hard at what sort of revolution people might be talking about, particularly in Pakistan. There are officially two sorts of enthusiasts camped on either side of the divide, one being the Islamists and the other secularists. What might be the difference between the two, truly I see none. A prime recent example of a wanna-be revolution was the lawyers movement, it started off with the country rallying to an anti-Musharraf rhetoric but ended up at achieving nothing. This sadly how all big hopeful revolutions start, people ask for a change but do not know ‘what sort of change’ or how they expect ‘to achieve this change?’

I bring into the midst of this discussion the millions of women belonging to the Islamic world who are so different, so strong and so determined yet even unbeknowist to them, they truly represent another set of revolutionaries in their own respect. We, the women, are constantly in the struggle to keep our homes intact, keeping our husbands happy, while at the same time maintaining a commitment to our jobs, in all this midst we are committed at bringing up our children in line with the core Islamic values which we hold so dear to our hearts. Its a mystical juggling machine which our gender group have so expertly managed over many hundred years and will continue to do so in the future without fail
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