Published Date: Feb 17, 2014
Strategic alliances among civil society organisations stressed
To highlight the importance of strategic alliances amongst civil society
organisations for systematic and holistic promotion of women rights
agenda, Aurat Foundation organised a panel discussion under its
USAID-funded Gender Equity Programme (GEP) at a local hotel on Sunday.
event, held under GEP’s Pakistan Gender Coalition (PGC), was part of
the activities organised by the Aurat Foundation to commemorate National
Women’s Day in Lahore. Currently there are 154 partner civil society
organisations and government institutions connected through the PGC.
Besides the panel discussion, the day-long activities by Aurat
Foundation under the banner of “Aurat Yakjehti Mela” featured launch of
Women Legislative Agenda by AF’s Awaaz Project and Sufi musical evening,
promoting love, compassion and kindness where Indian folk and Sufi
music singer Hans Raj Hans tugged the spiritual strings of the hearts of
those present in the audience with classical kalaam of renowned Sufis
of the region.
The National Women Day is commemorated across the
country on February 12 to mark the struggle initiated by women’s right
activists against the anti-women policies and legislation by General
Ziaul Haq. Women activists gathered at the Lahore Mall on February 12,
1983, to protest anti-women legislation and were stopped from proceeding
to the Lahore High Court and baton-charged and tear gassed. Speaking on
this occasion, Dr Azra from the Bahauddin University (BZU) reflected
over the increasing trend of domestic violence in south Punjab and the
urgency for the sensitisation and legislative measures to curtail it.
Ra’ana Malik from the Punjab University (PU) shared findings of her
research on customary practices, prevalent in society that seriously
violate women’s human rights. Mukhtar Mai (Mukhtar Mai Women
Organisation), Kishwer Sultana (Insaan Foundation Trust), Mohammad
Waseem (Interactive Resource Centre) and Shaista Khalid (Community
Support Concern) shared their experiences of psychosocial and economic
rehabilitation of the survivors of gender-based violence. Psychosocial
rehabilitation, theatre for sensitisation and advocacy efforts under
Gender Equity Programme of Aurat Foundation for promotion of social
justice and peace are also the main emphasis points of their activities.