“Men exploit ‘women’s liberation’. When it comes to personal gain, they are ready to compromise even on their religion,” said Sana Khalid, a member of the Fatima Jinnah Medical College debating team, on Friday.
She was speaking in support of Azadi-i-Niswan, Mardon ka Sunehra Jaal (Women’s liberation is a deception by men) at a debating competition organised by the Lahore College for Women University.
She said women were capable of making their own decisions independently. “Women are hard working, but men will just not let them control their lives,” she held.
Teams of two each from the FJMC; APWA College; Queen Mary College (QMC); Government College, Wahdat Colony; Government Post Graduate College for Women, Samanabad; Government Islamia College for Women; Government Fatima Jinnah College (GFJC); and the LCWU participated in the debates.
One member of a team spoke in support of and one against the topic. They were allowed five minutes each. The competition was judged by Dr Ayesha Hashmi, Dr Azra Nadeem and Dr Alisha Nawaz of the LCWU faculty.
The best speaker award went to Ayesha Hashmi from the FJMC, Samreen Javed of the QMC was the first runner up and Alisha Nawaz of the GFJC the second.
The opponents chose to begin their argument with humour. They started of with role models of the women nowadays.
Mirut-ul-Amna, from QMC’s team, said, “Our role models are Shakirah, Madonna and Angelina Jolie. We empathise with famous, strong and influential women and live the lives we choose. The women of today are strong enough to justify her way of life.”
She said it was not the men who had given the women liberation but “our religion”.
TV presenter Hamid Mir, former LCWU vice-chancellor Bushra Mateen and LCWU vice-principal Riffat Saleemi were the chief guests.
Mateen appreciated the fervour of young students about women’s rights.
She said, “You should be able to define ‘liberation’. Blaming men for everything does not mean they are actually responsible for the situations a woman might be in.”
Mir shared some anecdotes of real women who had impressed him with their courage with the students.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2011.
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