Aga Khan University’s Working Group for Women (WGW) organised a multidisciplinary research seminar on October 5, 2010 to highlight and discuss issues of violence against women; sexual and reproductive health and rights; and the challenges confronting women in emergencies during natural or man-made calamities.
The event was held at the AKU Auditorium, Stadium Road Campus, Karachi from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm. Six guest speakers facilitated the four-hour seminar including Dr Kausar Waqar, M. Akbar Sajid, Dr Saman Yazdani, Dr Nighat Shah, Alia Nasir and Kausar S. Khan.
In the session on ‘Unpacking tangled relationships: A critical view of gendered society’, Dr Dilashad Ashraf and Dr Kausar Waqar talked about the power dynamics of relationships. The speakers highlighted that the understanding of relationships translates into power dynamics, and has implications for the gender-based hierarchy in relationships that society perpetuates.
Other interesting topics covered at the event were ‘Gender Politics through Semiotics’, which was a critique of gender representation in Pakistani newspapers and cartoons presented by Akbar Sajid. Dr Saman Yazdani delivered a powerful lecture on the impact of government policies on Reproductive Health (RH) for rural communities in Sindh and Punjab in the last five years. Dr Yazdani also shared her field findings with the audience. The session on ‘Understanding Challenges Confronting Women in Emergencies’ by Kausar S. Khan was also received well.
Social workers, health care professionals, NGOs, women activists, hospital administrators, lawyers, law enforcement agencies and media participated in the WGW seminar in substantial numbers and contributed their share to the theme and the cause.
Fabeha Pervez, Media Executive, Department of Public Affairs, Aga Khan University, Stadium Road, Karachi, on +92 21 3486 2925 or firstname.lastname@example.org