KARACHI: Speakers at a conference organised by the Sindhi Aurat Tanzeem (SAT) on Sunday said their struggle was aimed at bringing women in Sindh from fringes of society to mainstream, which was the only answer to the oppression they were being subjected to by the dominant patriarchy.
The conference was held at the Karachi Press Club in which leaders of the SAT and its partner organisation Awami Jamhoori Party (AJP) spoke and poets and artistes recited and sang poetry and danced to traditional Sindhi tunes.
Nazeer Qureshi, president of SAT, said that in the patriarchal societies like that of Pakistan, particularly of Sindh, women were the most disadvantaged segment.
“Not only are they discriminated against in comparison to males in education and healthcare sectors but they even get smaller quantity of food in shape of leftovers and are denied free will to choose their own vocations and life partners,” she said.
She added that in decision making about problems of daily life or on national or political issues, their opinion was given as much weight as that given to a child’s, which was the greatest injustice.
Another leader, Saeeda Gopang, said that it had been conclusively proved that there was no difference between the intelligence of man and woman. “If at all, the female gender is made far superior because it is the reproductive gender.”
She said the prevalent bias against the female gender must end now.
Vishnu Mal, general secretary of the AJP, said the SAT had been launched as a ‘partner organisation’ of the AJP and not its subsidiary as was practice in other parties to maintain equality in all respects.
He said that SAT was an organisation for all women living in Sindh irrespective of their religion, language, creed and colour and it would participate fully in all struggles for the betterment of society alongside their male counterparts.
Abrar Kazi, president of AJP, said women had been denied their rightful share in society, which was a huge burden on the dominant patriarchy and it was time to recompense for it.
“Women have suffered a great deal and such injustices are still being meted out to them. It is time to stop all this and make our society an ideal place for everyone irrespective of one’s gender, caste, creed and religion,” he said.
A large number of women and men attended the programme.
Published in Dawn, March 16th, 2015