As a part of an awareness campaign on women’s rights, Tehrik-e-Niswan organised a seminar in collaboration with Pakistan National Forum for Women Health and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (Piler).
The seminar was a ceremony of a two-year project which aimed to educate women all over the country about their rights through theatre plays and dance performances. Number of performers uniformed in red, (colour that depicts revolution), singing ‘Har Aurat Anmol, Every woman is unique’.
Renowned gynaecologist Dr Shershah Syed expressed his views on how suppressed the women of the country are.
While speaking on the occasion he said, “400 out of every 100,000 women die in pregnancy-related ailments in Pakistan while only one death is recorded out of every 200,000 women in Sweden. Feudal lords, religious scholars and our leaders do not care if so many women die but will be worried for their cattle.”
Furthermore, he added, “It is our institutions that allow all this brutality against women to happen. However, he stressed, women should stand up to achieve their rights.”
Another prominent lady at the occasion, Tasneem Ahmar, director of the NGO Uks, talked about stereotyping and how media is changing mindsets. “When we started in 1997, only print media was there,” she said.
Rights activist from Balochistan, Jaleela Haider, said that that viewers are ready to accept different content, which is why dramas like Udaari and Marvi are highly popular. However, she said, the fact cannot be ignored that Pakistan is a capitalist country and revenue generation is the basic nature of the media industry. “The situation in media is becoming chronic,” she said. “They only report when people die and do not report on the several campaigns which are run on those attacks in Quetta.” She added that Balochistan is not just Quetta and there is much more to report about the region.
Ending the discussion, the panel summed up five points, which will be submitted to the representatives of the parliament, including women’s issues in media, adoption of a code of conduct and gender equality while reporting.