Celebrating Women's Day in Pakistan

12 March 2019
Celebrating Women's Day in Pakistan

TOBA TEK SINGH (District in Punjab province of Pakistan)

The Youth for Human Rights Pakistan (YHRP) organized an event regarding International Women's Day 2019 #IWD2019 in collaboration of URI Pakistan in Govt. Special Education Institution Gojra District Toba Tek Singh.

It was hosted by Mr. Umair Ahmad Executive Director YHRP. Principal Medam Hina Hadaeet, Mr. Wajid Ali Secretary General YHRP, Mr. Yaqoob Sadiq Director Joy Foundation and Miss Saman George spoke at the occasion.

Mr. Umair Ahmad said, "We extend solidarity with women struggling for equal rights and social justice in Pakistan and around the world."

The speaker said that we have the view that women and marginalized communities cannot be free unless the inter-linked structures of violence and exploitation are dismantled.

Today, we acknowledge that the labor of millions of women is exploited daily in homes, factories, farms, and in offices, robbing them of the opportunities, time and resources to fulfill their dreams and potential. 

On this International Working Women’s Day, let us resolve to revive the revolutionary and radical vision of the day’s origin.

The impunity for violence and harassment in our society has made both our homes and our streets unsafe for women and girls, who cannot go through life without experiencing the traumas of physical, sexual, mental and emotional violence that debilitate them, keeping women away from public spaces, education, work and power.

Countless women die daily from a lack of basic medical and reproductive health care, denied by both an uncaring state that refuses to accept the health of its citizens as its responsibility and a patriarchal society that refuses to prioritize women’s health; legal and institutional systems, shaped by patriarchs and justified by a self-serving religious clergy, have relegated women and sexual minorities to a secondary status, without equal rights to inheritance, testimony, or leadership.

We resolve to struggle for a society in which labor is fairly distributed, women are fairly paid; where women can exist and move free of fear not silenced and shamed for speaking out; where abusers can be held to account; where women and men can respectfully engage in relationships as equals; where women are able to care for and decide on matters of their health and inheritance.

Today, the rising tides of discrimination and terrorism have pushed the world to the brink of war and destruction by inciting religious, racial and ethnic hatred, seeking to reverse women’s freedoms; and have torn apart our lands, impoverished working class, made youth fodder for war and conflict, left children orphaned without the care of their fathers and women homeless and widowed. In our region, these ideologies and actions have affected in particular the Baloch, Pakhtun, Sindhi, Kashmiri, Hazara, and Gilgit-Baltistani women, among others, who have been forced to struggle for their basic right to live and breathe as free citizens. 

We resolve to push back the rise of injustice and assert more strongly than ever the need for women’s leadership to build a genuine progressive and to create a society free from weapons of mass destruction, warmongering, state violence, abductions, and terror. 

We resolve to struggle for the restoration of the climatic balance necessary for the continued sustenance of human life.

Celebrating Women's Day in Pakistan

Today, we call upon all women, men, and other genders to resolve to struggle together for a world without violence and fear, in which all our aspirations can co-exist without any exploitation. 

International Women’s Day is an occasion every year on March 8 to appreciate, recognize, celebrate, reflect, inspire and convey the message to people and communities across the world to be mindful of the urgent need for the participation of women and men in all walks of life with equality.

The theme of the International Women’s Day-2019, “Think Equal, Build Smart, Innovate for Change”, once again reminds us of innovative ways in which the world can advance gender equality.  The goal of achieving a world where gender equality is ensured at all levels requires constant struggle not only by women, but by both women and men. Although women all over the world participate in socio-economic and political activities, but their contributions are not recognized. The empowerment of women is a need of the hour in every society and in all aspects of life. Despite the fact that innovation and technological advancement provide unprecedented opportunities for people, our world continues to face a growing gender divide, as women continue to face gender inequality in many areas. A growing trend of continuing disproportionate roles of women and men in society hampers gender equality and the establishment of more inclusive systems. In order to overcome such divisions and reach the goal of equality at all levels, the world needs a transformative shift, especially in removing structural barriers at every level of society.

The observance of International Women’s Day is a unique opportunity for all those who are concerned to convey the message of hope to the world that gender parity in all walks of life is a paramount target of humanity.

Until we are all free, none of us is free.

Reported by Umair Ahmad,

Executive Director, Youth for Human Rights Pakistan