By Isha Lodhi
What can you do to make sure that a girl, a woman….your mother, sister, daughter, wife, or friend, does not have to abandon her dreams just because of the gender she was born as?
Being a parent, a sibling, a friend,… you play a certain role in any woman’s life, and you effect her choices, her life, her dreams, significantly. What can you do to try and make sure that your role in your mother’s, sister’s, friend’s, wife’s life is not dispiriting?
Our society does not treat all genders fairly, and this is not news to those of us who have an eye to see. Being in the patriarchal society that we all belong to, a woman needs more support, and sometimes little more encouragement than a man to pursue her dreams.
WIE, and ACM-W’s event “BE HER PARTNER”, a talk delivered by Ms. Tahira Malik, on April the 20th, was an enlightening seminar on how each one of us can be supportive to the women in our lives, and play our part in building a stronger, safer, happier community; a community where no one is unfairly and unduly held back from doing what they want.
Ms. Tahira Malik, a human rights activist, lawyer, motivational speaker and visiting faculty at various universities of Islamabad, including NUST, is an inspirational person who has a clear stance on many of our society’s issues, and has more than enough logic to express, and rationally defend, it. In her speech, Ms. Malik described the tiny, almost invisible, barriers… the huge, solid barriers; and the attitudes an average girl faces at various stages in her life due to her gender, from the moment she is conceived, till the moment she breathes her last. Ms. Malik told her audience the importance of being supportive to a woman, and she told them how simple it was to do so: “when you go home today, tell your mother you will do the dishes for tonight”, and, “teach your sister how to drive”.
At the end of the session, a few students asked questions, a few others voiced their opinions on what they thought about the treatment, and role, of women in our society.
About “Be Her Partner”, Syed Abbas, a Computer Science freshman in the audience, said “An event the likes of which birth the atmosphere of true understanding and honest discourse that any top academic institution must strive to establish.”