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International Women’s Day 2015

by: admin

March 11, 2015

Idara-e-Taleem –o-Aagahi in collaboration with A World At School (AWAS) celebrated the International Women’s Day on March 10, 2015 at the Pearl Continental Hotel, Karachi. AWAS is a digital movement harnessing the efforts and energies of the many NGOs, teachers’ organisations, faith groups, individuals and youth campaigners to make education a reality for all of the world’s children.

The session was titled:
“Feminism and the impact of the digital age: a discussion about the portrayal of women in the media and the challenges posed by an ever-changing digital landscape.” ‪#‎WomenintheMedia‬

The panel for the discussion included the following individuals:

  • Mariam Soomro, Head of Sustainability and Community Engagement, Corporate Affairs at Standard Chartered
  • Mashal Masroor, Product manager, Lifestyle products, HBL
  • Yusra Askari, Print and Electronic media journalist, NDTV
  • Wajiha Naqvi, Campaign Director, I Am Karachi
  • Ghausia Rashid Salam, Head of Gender & Tech Initiative at Bolo Bhi

The session was initiated  by sharing facts on girls education around the world and specifically in Pakistan. This was followed by the display of A World At School video of Shugufta, a young girl in Afghanistan, trying to pursue education in conflict areas.  This was followed by the second  video featuring a young girl Neeraj’s story, who, despite harsh realities of child labour, continues to receive education.

The floor was handed to the panel with an introduction of the UpForSchool campaign, its launch in New York (Sept 22, 2014) and its current status of having achieved 1 million signatures in Pakistan and steps being taken to reach 2 million more. The #UpForSchool campaign was introduced as a very effective and efficient way of using technology to reach masses.

The discussion was then steered towards importance of technology and media in educating the modern world and whether social media has brought any change in the landscape of women and specifically women’s education.The moderator, Wajiha Naqvi, introduced the challenges faced by women in Pakistan in all spheres of life. She went on to explain the narrative of women perceiving themselves as helpless to be particularly prevalent in our society. She stated that media played a very powerful role in shaping these perceptions. She introduced  Yusra and asked her to join the discussion by sharing her opinion on media perceptions of women. Yusra went explained that women should not be treated separately from men and any difference they make should be recognized as an individual making a difference and not a woman trying to make a difference. In Yusra’s opinion women are scared of being vocal in media because they are scared of being judged and do not like to be stereotyped, however, through anonymous names, they do post their opinions and provide feminist comments.

Mariam contributed to the discussion by sharing that women need to respect themselves to be recognized as equal members of the society. Her experience in the banking sector, which was predominantly considered a male space, was now occupied by a large number of women only because of their determination and hard work with no fear of judgement .

Ghausia and Mashal highlighted the role of women in households. Mothers pay a key role in shaping the opinions of their daughters and sons . Hence, a housewife or a mother has an enormous responsibility to raise capable and confident individuals who are sensitive to issues of gender and education in our society. They both suggested that change is not easy but a necessary tool for growth.

The audience asked questions like why media portrays women in such a stereotypical manner and why the television channels cannot restrict their airtime to more meaningful discussions. An EYA, Sadiq Aryan, spoke about empowering women at the grass root level and bringing in gender sensitive values within households because they shape perceptions of future generations.  The audience spoke about taking action and creating a world where every day is women’s day!

 

Girls Stand ‪#‎UpForSchool‬ ‪#‎Article25A‬ ‪#‎EducationForAll‬ ‪#‎LetGirlsLearn‬‪#‎MakeItHappen‬

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