UNITED NATIONS: The deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand was “another grim reminder” of the Islamophobia sweeping the world, a senior Pakistani diplomat told delegates attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women – a global gathering of women activists at which Pakistan played an active role.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, was speaking at a side-event on “Breaking Stereotypes: Muslim Women as agents of change”, one of the four organized by her that made an impact on what is also called the “women activists’ summit.”
The Pakistani envoy linked the attack to stereotyping, which she argued can be seriously consequential as it can lead to misperceptions, demonization and even violence.
“It’s a slippery slope when Muslims are stereotyped and mischaracterized, sometimes deliberately by those who also engage in hate speech,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
She distinguished between culture and religion in asserting that for Muslim women Islam is an enabling agent, not an impediment as is often presumed in Western narratives. The barriers are patriarchal social structures and an overall lack of education in societies.
The annual meeting of the Commission, which dates back to 1947, brought to the UN more than 9,000 representatives from civil society organizations. It will conclude on March 22.
Pakistan’s single person delegation was led by Khawar Mumtaz, who delivered her national statement on Friday.
The event on ‘Breaking Stereotypes’, a brainchild of Ambassador Lodhi, attracted a large audience with people prepared to stand throughout the hour and half event.
About her own professional journey as a Muslim woman, she said this involved facing obstacles, overcoming fears but always dreaming dreams. “My professional path”, Ambassador Lodhi said, “constantly entailed challenging, defying and overcoming stereotypes.”
“This almost becomes a lifetime occupational hazard for women, and not just in the Muslim world. “The important thing is never to allow this to distract or diminish us.
Women, she said, have two choices when confronted with attitudes shaped by stereotypes or when facing barriers: either seethe with resentment or press ahead vigorously to make a difference. Anger, she said, is not a strategy.
Other speakers from Indonesia, Turkey Qatar and Iran echoed the view that for Muslim women, faith was no barrier; indeed throughout Islamic history, women have played prominent public roles. A correct reading of religion showed that Islam was an enabling factor for women to pursue professional roles
A lively question-answer segment followed presentations by the panel of speakers. The session was ably moderated by Pakistani American Professor Ameena Zia.
Participating in the side-events were Parliamentarians who were here to attend the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) hearings. They included Munazza Hassan, MNA, Ehsanullah Tiwana, Sassui Palijo and Shahla Raza.
Pakistan’s presence during CSW’s first week was also visible in the standees that were displayed across UN HQ depicting women who had made and changed history in Pakistan. The colorful standees included Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto, Asma Jahangir, Sharmeen Obaid, and Malala Yusufzai among others.
Opposition to protest in and out of Parliament!
ISLAMABAD: Leaders of the opposition parties who were invited here at Zardari House for an Iftar-Dinner, proclaimed that they will commence protests against the Govt. after Eid-ul-Fitr.
It has been decided that an All Parties Conference (APC) will be held after Eid in order to figure out the modus operand and dates of manifestations in and out of the parliament.
A relevant piece published earlier:
Measures to avoid electrocution!
PESHAWAR: Chief Executive PESCO Dr. Muhammad Amjad Khan said here today it was important to adopt precautionary measures to avoid electrocution.
In a statement issued here from Wapda House, he directed technical staff to adopt precautionary measures for avoiding electrocution adding he also directed line staff should avoid start of work without PTW (Permit to work) and assurance of power shutdown..Poles on both the sides must be properly earthen for the safety of technical staff working online or pole adding he said use of safety belt, helmet and rubber gloves essential during work.
PESCO also requested customers to adopt precautionary measures to avoid electric shocks for their own safety in rains so that precious human lives and property could be secured. These safety measures include to properly “earthen” your electrical appliances and replace or tape all worn out wires and not to touch electrical appliances and cables with wet hands. The public is also requested to be careful and attentive while using Electric Water Pumps and other Electrical appliances.
Boat Capsized: Search for bodies continues!
HYDERABAD: The search operation to find the missing dead bodies of six persons, who drowned in Indus river after their boat capsized in the midst of the sand storm, continued on Sunday with only one body found during the day.
The Deputy Commissioner Jamshoro Capt (R) Fariddudin Mustafa informed that so far only 3 out of 8 drowned persons, including 2 women and a child, had been pulled out so far. The dead bodies of the women were found on Saturday night, he added.
He told that the search operation continued since morning till evening on Sunday before it was suspended before sunset. He added that the operation, in which a team of Pakistan Navy besides Edhi volunteers was also participating, would resume on Monday morning.
The deceased include 50 years old Aasat, 35 years old Qaima, 30 years old Gulzadi, 35 years old Popri and her son one-year-old Imran, 25 years old Shahzadi and her son two years old Ahmed and one-year-old Abdul Wahab.
All of them were Maachi by the cast. The bodies of Aasat, Popri, and Imran have been fished out so far.
According to the police and the district administration, the boat capsized while returning from Matiari district on Saturday evening.