Like other parts of the country, students in Swat valley also presented a colourful event to mark International Women’s Day to endorse women empowerment and create awareness about their rights.
The programme was held at Khushal School and College, during which students from various schools and colleges in Swat exhibited their talent through paintings and drawings on gender-based violence.
A quiz competition on gender violence was also held, while, ‘I am in journey’, a movie made by USAID, was screened during the event.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Sarwat Saleem, a ninth grade student at The Message School, said, “Our society is male dominating where boys are preferred over girls and resultantly they get better opportunities in education.”
“My painting aims to depict this sense of deprivation among women so the authorities can provide better facilities for girls in Swat,” she added.
Nida Akbar, a student of intermediate part II, said, “Women are subjected to physical and mental abuse both at home and elsewhere. Despite religious injunctions to the contrary, they aren’t given their right of inheritance by parents.
Malala Yousafzai, who excelled in the quiz competition, also highlighted the plight of women in Swat, adding that education is the only way for women to escape the clutches of violence.
“Women can only fight for their rights if they know exactly what their rights are. This is not possible if they remain illiterate,” said the 14-year-old, who has earned international fame and recognition for raising her voice against the Taliban.
The event was organised by Dehi Tariqiyati Social Welfare Council, in collaboration with the Aurat Foundation and Asia Foundation.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 8th, 2012.
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