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Festival opens with ‘women Move Mountains’ contest

Rawalpindi:A live painting competition on the theme “Women Move Mountains” marked the
opening of a two-week-long 12th edition of the Pakistan Mountain Festival (PMF) on Thursday
at the Fatima Jinnah Women's University. The festival is an annual flagship event of the
Development Communications Network (Devcom-Pakistan) to commemorate the UN’s
International Mountains Day (IMD) which falls on December 11.
As many as 34 girl students and two boys participated in the live painting competition. The
participating institutions included Fatima Jinnah Women's University, National College of the
Arts (NCA), Rawalpindi Women University, Westminster Academy, Foundation University
Islamabad campus, SZABIST University, International Islamic University, FG College for
Women Kashmir Road, Islamabad Model College for Girls and National Textile Institute.
The participants painted mountain women’s struggle in combating real-life challenges in the
changing climate, women in mountain ecosystem conservation, and cultural heritage from the
northern parts of Pakistan. They depicted the impact of climate change on life in mountains
beside the aesthetic value.
Speaking on the occasion, Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director and founder of Pakistan
Mountain Festival Munir Ahmed said: “Mountain women play a key role in environmental

protection and social and economic development in mountain areas. They are often the primary
managers of mountain resources, guardians of biodiversity, keepers of traditional knowledge,
custodians of local culture, and experts in traditional medicine. Somehow, mountain women’s
potential and contribution to conservation is undermined.
Ahmed said mountain women’s climate resilience shall be the focus to empower them to face
emerging challenges. Increasing climate variability, coupled with a lack of investment in
mountain agriculture and rural development, has often pushed men to migrate elsewhere in
search of alternative livelihoods. Women have therefore taken on many tasks formerly done by
men, yet mountain women are often invisible due to a lack of decision-making power and
unequal access to resources. To trigger real change toward sustainable development, it is
important to engage in gender transformative change. We need to empower mountain women so
they can participate more effectively in decision-making processes and have more control over
productive resources. By sharing excellence, opportunities, and capacity development in
mountains, the Day can promote gender equality and therefore contribute to improving social
justice, livelihoods and resilience.

Source: The News