The achievements of ‘mountain women’ were highlighted and their contemporary challenges were discussed at a gathering at the Rawalpindi Arts Council on Sunday, said a press release.
A large number of women from the Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) and Chitral regions residing in the twin cities gathered at an event, organised by the Initiative for Promotion of Pamiri Arts and Culture (IPPAC) in collaboration with Aurat Foundation, the Aga Khan Youth and Sports Board (AKYSB), and the Rawalpindi Arts Council with the theme “Inspiring Change”, in connection with International Women’s Day.
Women rights activists from the GBC regions shared their experiences and spoke on various issues pertaining to women during the lecture session of the event. A question-answers session was also held to provide an opportunity to the women to openly ask the specialists questions regarding women’s rights and different issues they face in society.
Children performed tableaus, shorts skits and some cultural performances highlighting different issues faced by the women of the region.
Rights activist Tahira Abdullah stressed the need for the provision of equal rights to women. She demanded that the government, especially female parliamentarians, chalk out new legislation to ensure women across the country are given their due rights.
“Living in a patriarchal society, women have still a long way to go in order to come at par with men in terms of their rights, said Yasmin Karim, a gender specialist from G-B. She said such events must be held frequently as they provide an opportunity for women to look back and ponder over what they have achieved and what needs to be achieved in the future.
Ayesha Jahangir, a prominent activist and social worker from G-B, urged the women of the country to raise their voice for their rights. The speakers paid homage to the leading Pakistan women including Samina Baig, Malala Yousufzai, the late Arfa Karim and others.
The participants, mostly youngsters, appreciated the effort and stressed the need for arranging such fruitful events frequently to provide opportunities for women to celebrate their achievements and discuss issues.
Addressing the gathering, the head of IPPAC’s Women Wing Neelum Nigar said the event is an effort to bringing together the women from the mountain regions of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements. Referring to the achievements of Samina Baig, Nigar said that despite being from a backward area of G-B, the brave daughter of the region proved a “source of inspiration for all of us”.