“Our society makes fun of the #Metoo movement and this has real-life consequences. Women have started coming forward to shame their culprits,” said Dr Uzma Rashid, assistant professor, United Nation’s Peace University, Costa Rica, on Thursday.
She was addressing a public forum debate on the topic of ‘Gender Justice: Bridging the Gap between Academia and Activists’, organised by the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Human Sciences, Ziauddin University.
Speaking as a guest speaker, she said Pakistan ranks 148 out of 149 on the list of global gender gap index, and it is because we do not have familiarity with the concept of gender inequality.
She suggested both men and women should be familiar with their legal rights and they should know their ways. She reiterated that it was very important to familiarise yourself with such kinds of issues.
Sharing her bold struggle and experiences to become a feminist, poetess, writer and activist, Attiya Dawood said that we all have activism and we all are born with it, but we just have to explore it and work hard for it.
The conversation which we have started should not be stopped here; it has to make changes in our minds, homes, society and country, she added. Addressing the conference, Dr Dilshad Ashraf, associate professor, AKU-IED, talked about unpacking the connection between activism, reflexivity, feminist positioning, implications, and challenges about activism in and beyond academia.
While reshaping the gender equality agenda, she stated that when you understand gender, you need to understand that now you have developed that capacity to raise your voice against issues which are rejected by our society.
“We need to bring change to our academic curriculum and education system, because change has to happen and it will only be possible with high standards of education,” she added.
Earlier, Professor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, vice chancellor of Ziauddin University, in his welcome address, said that the ultimate objective of such events was to inculcate and creating awareness about the importance of academia and activism. He said real academia is always in collaboration, and we have to help each other and work for gender equality for the betterment of our society.