The Greenwich University Public Speaking Society organised a declamation contest at the Dr Kamal Auditorium under the supervision of Assistant Professor Iqbal Jamil.
A large number of students attended the event, 15 students participated and spoke about different dimensions of feminism. The judges for the contest were Kashif Ali Shaikh, director, Transparency International, Naveed Arshad, broadcast journalist and lecturer, University of Karachi, and Dr Sabir Ali, HoD, Mass Communication & Media Studies, Greenwich University, said a press release issued on Monday.
Dua Bahleem bagged the first prize while Shama Brohi stood second. The third prize was awarded to Abdullah Butt.
Syed Areeb mesmerised the audience by his thought-provoking speech in a poetic style. This was a brilliant crowd pleasing opening, followed by a factual speech given by Sobia Khan. The third participant, Neiha Imran, spoke how men and women together could make a better society and there was no need for separating the two based on their capabilities.
Abdullah Butt, like a cool summer breeze, refreshed the minds of the audience with a very interactive walk down the lane of history and gave the actual image of the 21st century problems of Kazakhstan’s “Stealing Bride” tradition, leaving with a provocative statement that “if you don’t believe in feminism; you don’t know feminism”.
Next on the line was Hafsa Saleem. She gave the image of truth that women can’t ever be physically like men. “If you ask me or any other women to lift a rock, we will never be able to do it.”
She said women often take into consideration the environment at workplace, whereas men, due to social pressure and the will to earn regardless of the complications, put aside his preferences and earn a living with whatever comes his way. Ramsha Kazmi countered this viewpoint by saying that “equality doesn’t mean sameness; men and women can’t ever be physically the same. That doesn’t mean they’re not equal”.
She not only spoke about the social importance of feminism but also how Islam supports women. Dua Bahleem gave a personal anecdote of how unjust this society is. She said that there are families who do not believe in educating women and fighting for the rights of women to combat the odds and be empowered.
Haya Usman gave a short and sweet speech stating her opinion in favour of feminism, hoping to live in a world in which gender discrimination no longer exists. Shama brohi grabbed everyone’s attention with her powerful voice, how she has broken her chains and empowered herself to fight the odds, riding a scooty to university, and showing there are no boundaries to stop her from achieving her goals.
Fatima Ghouri ended the contest with her commanding speech, in which she stated how despite all the limitations and struggles she came across she never gave up and proved herself by being the youngest pet trainer of Sindh.
The event was concluded with a heart-wrenching truthful story narrated by Miss Ariba of how with the support of her father she not only completed her degree but also worked as a crime reporter and went to all those places where according to the society only men could go. She emphasised that if her father had not supported her, she could never have achieved anything.
The judges lauded the efforts of the students and said the quality of the contest was of the highest standard. Later, shields were distributed among the winners of the declamation contest