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Climb for a cause: girls challenge stereotypes against women

ISLAMABAD: As many as 50 young girls got engaged in daylong activities of rock climbing, camping and cooking to challenge stereotypes about gender roles, like women cannot undertake any strenuous tasks.

The students of leading universities and colleges climbed the Margalla Hills trail in the morning as a symbol of their strength and commitment to challenging the taboos and stereotypes, said a press release.

The event was organised by the ‘We Can’ under its End All Violence Against Women campaign, which was initiated as a South Asian campaign by Oxfam Gb in 2005.

`We Can’ Pakistan chapter is an alliance member of `We Can’ global network that consists of 14 countries around the globe where campaign is operational.

In Pakistan, `We Can’ works through a core group of four provincial implementing partner organisations and a network of change makers (persons who pledge not to commit any violence against women).

‘We Can’ organisation marks 16 Days of Activism and other international days through a number of events and celebrations and rock climbing was also part of the 16-days activism.

It was a multi-purposed activity that not only focused on attitude change but also provided a forum for youth engagement and awareness.

“These participants will carry a good name from this event in their respective universities and will be `change-makers’ in their respective spheres, motivating and encouraging others to take the lead in their lives,” said `We Can’ Pakistan head Hajra Pasha.

She said the campaign included the activity of rock climbing in the campaign as it not only involved strenuous exercise and physically strength but also challenged mental capabilities. “It teaches a person how to strategise in order to achieve his/her targets, consolidates belief on will power and capacitates on endurance.

These lessons are very relevant to daily life learning and are geared towards gender empowerment, from a behaviourist perspective.”

Prominent women from civil society, academia and other spheres of life participated in the event and shared their stories and experiences with the younger girls.

Other highlights of the event included the screening of `We Can’ documentaries based on real life stories of change maker, interactive games, cooking completion and motivational talk by Sirmad Tariq and Zehra Kamal.

Daily Times