The event was held at Ziauddin University Auditorium by Liberal Arts and Human Sciences department in collaboration with Faculty of Law and Media Sciences. In the first section of the event, a timeline of leading commercial ads was shown as a documentary to initiate the discussion on ‘Gender Justice: Public Spaces, Industry and Law’.
It was brought into notice that if there is one area to look for evolution in terms of gender justice, it is those various commercial brands in Pakistan that shifted from showcasing women as an ideal bride to a rather hard-working individual who can earn herself a living.
From ‘holding the world together by walking into marriage and looking after a family’, awareness of gender justice has influenced brands – that once broadcasted sexist ads – to acquaint women with the realization of their greater potentials.
In her welcome address, Dr. Fauzia Shamim, Dean, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences of the varsity said Gender Justice does not mean gender discrimination, but to rather think about fairness and human rights.
With that being highlighted, Ms. Aalia Jaffer, founder of marketing consultancy MarSol.D, apprised the gathering that when a woman compromises on her professional life entirely to hold on to a family, it instills in her a feeling of missing out which eventually turns into anger.
“There are three stages when a woman considers quitting her career – engagement, marriage and when she becomes a mother,” Jaffer said.
Another panelist, Barrister Tahir Ali, Director of the Centre for Law and Access to Justice at Ziauddin University, stressed on a related situation how Pakistan failed to have at least one woman as a Supreme Court judge from history till date.
Citing this, it was raised that gender justice means equal opportunities for both.
Ms Atia, member of Girls At Dhaba, stressed on their vision of acclaiming public spaces – stating how some transportation advertisements suggest that women avail their getaway packages to avoid standing at a bus stand with uncomfortable gazes at them — while it is the environment that should be safer for a woman to stand at that bus stand.
“Our society makes fun of #Metoo movement, men make fun of #Metoo, and this has real life consequences, women have started coming forward to shame their culprits” says Dr Uzma Rashid, Assistant Professor, United Nation’s Peace University, (Costa Rica) while addressing to the public forum debate on the topic of ‘Gender Justice: Bridging the Gap between Academia and Activists’at Ziauddin University, Clifton campus.
Speaking at the conference as a guest speaker, Dr Uzma Rashid said Pakistan ranks 148 out of 149 in the list of global gender gap index It is because we do not have familiarity about concepts of gender inequality, men and women both should be familiar about their legal rights they should know their ways because it is very important to familiarize yourself with such kind of issues to fight.
While sharing her bold impressive and struggling, experiences to become a feminist, poetess, writer and activist ,Ms Attiya Dawood highlighted and added that we all have activism built in ourselves and its natural, we all are born with it, we just need to explore it and work hard for it, the conversation which we have began, should not be stopped here. It has to make changes in our minds, homes, society, and country.
Addressing to the conference as the speaker Dr Dilshad Ashraf, Associate Professor, AKU-IED, talked about Unpacking connection between activism, reflexivity, feminist positioning, Implications, and challenges about Activism in and beyond Academia.
while reshaping gender equality Agenda she stated that when you understand gender, you need to understand that now you have developed that capacity to raise voice against issues which are rejected by our society .
Further she added, “We need to give eye to our children to see through it, we need to bring change in our academic curriculum and education system, because change has to happen and it will only be possible with high standards of education.”
Earlier, Professor Dr. Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Vice Chancellor, Ziauddin University
In his welcome address, said that ultimate objective of such event is to inculcate and creating awareness on the importance of academia and activism real academia is always in collaboration. We have to work together on every field of life. We have to help each other. We have to work for our country and its development. The conference was largely attended by the renowned speakers, students, faculty and social activists.