Public Forum series Part II – Gender Justice: Public Spaces, Industry and Law

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.

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