KARACHI – The second day of the three-day Pakistan Women Festival was opened by the seminar of first Pakistani female Architecture Yasmeen Lari. She spoke at length on ‘Creating sustainable economic independence for women in Pakistan.’
Lari was awarded with the Sitara-e-Imtiaz by the government of Pakistan in recognition of her services to the architecture profession and to heritage conversation of historical site in Pakistan. The inspiring and enlightening speech illustrated with a slide presentation kept the audience spellbound.
“I came up with a bamboo shelter system which had low carbon footprints. I have built nearly 2,000 sustainable shelter units, which help to promote and propagate the lives of people in Pakistan. When earthquake hit in 2005 I decided to come up with a bamboo shelter system,” she said.
About Pakistan heritage she was of the view “To document and conserve the traditional and historical build environment of Pakistan we must create awareness among the people. Government has funds to spend on many other things but when it comes to invest heritage it is often neglected. We should preserve our historical places so that our youth should get awareness about our history. Their preservation demonstrates recognition of the necessity of the past and of the things that tell its story,” she said.
“When flood came in 2010 it affected 20 million people in Pakistan and their houses were destroyed. At that time I decided to build new safe waterproof homes for them with a bamboo shelter system,” she added.
A panel discussion on the same subject was the next segment. The panellists included renowned names such as Salwa Habib, Roshahneh Zafar and Gul Afreedi and Shaiyanne Malik did the moderation.
Before the end of the discussion, the moderator took some questions from the audience which added value to the discussion that had just taken place.
After the panel discussion, an awards ceremony was held to honour five of those women who have voluntarily or involuntarily helped Pakistan achieve any one of UN’s Sustainable Development 16 goals for the years 2015-2030. The five award recipients were introduced individually and visual presentations shown of their work before they were invited on stage by the host.
‘Clean water and sanitation’ award went to Seemi Kamal for her extensive work in social development in Pakistan through her organization ‘Raasta’. For the category of ‘Affordable and clean energy’ the award went to Fiza Farhan, CEO of Buksh Foundation and Director of Buksh Energy Private Limited, both companies pioneering unique and demand based multi-stakeholder solutions in the domains of gender equality, inclusive growth, renewable energy and impact investment.
Roshaneh Zafar was given the award for ‘Decent Work and economic growth’ for her outstanding work through Kashf foundation, a wealth management company for women from low-income households.
‘Industry, innovation and Infrastructure’ was given to Ms Bano Bhimjee, the veteran owner of one of the leading women undergarments company in Pakistan, IFG, and ‘Sustainable cities and communities’ award was presented to Ms Yasmeen Lari for extensive work through her organization Heritage Foundation.
After a short break women health seminar was also held. The first session was all about the ‘Humanistic Therapy versus psychiatric treatment.’ The second panel discussion was on the subject of ‘Allopathic medicine versus alternative treatments’.
The seminars on women health were extremely enlightening and were appreciated by all the attendees. People from all walks of life attended the seminars and appreciated the panellists.