Published Date: Apr 4, 2014
SDPI Press Release (April 4, 2014)
Women’s struggle often remains ignored in Pakistan and needs to be given
more attention. This was expressed by leading Pakistani women at the
launch of the book “Who am I?” by renowned media practitioner Muneeza
Hashmi here at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI). The
book documents Muneeza’s interviews with some of the most inspiring
women in Pakistani history. The book launch was also a tribute to
Muneeza herself. Dr. Maleeha Aslam, Head of the Gender and Human
Security Unit at SDPI conducted the interview and briefed the
participants about SDPI’s Woman of Substance Series, under which public
interviews are conducted with inspiring women from the Pakistani
spoke candidly about her past and the pressure of being the daughter of
one of the most celebrated literary figures in Pakistan, Faiz Ahmed
Faiz. “I grew up in an atmosphere where there was an absentee father,
and the whole responsibility of bringing up kids was on the shoulders of
my mother”, she said while talking about influences from her family.
She added that while her father has been the subject of much attention,
her mother acted as the ‘roof and support’ to keep the family together.
highlighted the bonding that the institution of family generates in the
Pakistani society, which is much more than the ‘standards of living’ in
the Western world that people aspire for. She appreciated the
tremendous support she had had from her family throughout her life.
modern television in Pakistan, she observed that Pakistani channels
have been losing focus of who their true audiences are. The PEMRA has
become much less effective, while channels continue to compete in
commercial terms. On the depiction of women in Pakistani media, she said
that violence against women has become a tool for selling commercial
dramas, while the real issues faced by women are rarely brought forth. “There is little ownership to document women’s struggle in Pakistan”,
she said. Reflecting on her book, Muneeza said that the title depicts
the “wrenching cry of a woman who is trying to find herself. They all
are women who are trying to discover themselves”.
present at the occasion were Khawar Mumtaz, Chairperson of the National
Commission on Status of Women (NCSW), Prof. Iftikhar-un-nisa Hasan,
former Pro-VC of the Fatima Jinnah Women’s University, renowned
Pakistani director Agha Nasir, Nisar Memon, Marvi Memon and Dr. Najma
Najum. They applauded the book, stressing that women’s struggle is often
neglected in Pakistan and needs to be brought forward in mainstream
discourse. Discussants highlighted that the book also reveals much about
Muneeza Hashmi herself as the interviewer.