Saturday July 13, 2024

Aurat Hunar Mela to showcase women’s work from March 8

By Afshan S. Khan
February 25, 2024

Islamabad : The 10th edition of 3-day long ‘Aurat Hunar Mela’ (National Women-at-Work Festival) to showcase women’s work, products and services at the Lok Virsa, Shakarparian, from March 8.

This image is a poster of Aurat Hunar Mela to be organised on March 8- 10.. — APP File
This image is a poster of Aurat Hunar Mela to be organised on March 8- 10.. — APP File

This is the annual flagship event of Devcom-Pakistan (Development Communications Network) to mark the UN’s International Women’s Day that falls on March 8. This year the event is being organised in collaboration with the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa), Federal Ministry of National Heritage and Culture.

Speaking to ‘The News’, Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said that over 100 marginalised communities and self-employed women will showcase their products, skills and services. They will be coming from different far flung areas such as northern parts including Chitral, Gilgit and Baltistan, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and South Punjab. This is in essence the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day that emphasises “inspire inclusion”. He said that several women folk singers will perform all three days while paintings of women artists will also be put on display at the Heritage Museum Gallery at the Lok Virsa.

A conference on CSR for Women Development will highlight the importance of the corporate sector’s initiatives for women development. Some of the best initiatives will be recognized with awards. The 8 March is a significant UN day dedicated to ensuring women’s rights, empowerment and mainstreaming of their work. The celebration of the Day has played a key role in the global growth of women’s rights campaigns, participation in the political and economic arenas and empowerment movement.

Theme of 2024 International Women’s Day is very close to the heart of Devcom-Pakistan, a non-profit voluntary organisation, that has been promoting and mainstreaming marginalised women’s work since its inception in 2003. Ahmed said: Devcom-Pakistan founded “Aurat Hunnar Mela” (National Women-at-Work Festival) was founded in 2012 to celebrate women’s work to inspire more women to enter into different sectors with proactive approaches.

This event especially includes, promotes and mainstream women’s human rights and economic empowerment, and the work of community women to strengthen their voices for social, economic and political participation.

From this year, Munir Ahmed said, Devcom-Pakistan will launch awards to recognize, encourage and appreciate the corporate sector for their great work under their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for women development. The Devcom-Pakistan CSR Award for women development will include significant initiatives of the organisations in the corporate sector contributing to the women’s education, health and hygiene, food and nutrition, skills development, economic empowerment, and to ensuring the women friendly policies and practices with women’s internal engagement.

Munir Ahmed said CSR plays a pivotal role in community development to educate and empower women, and also to keep them active and healthy. There are many such initiatives but not accounted for in Pakistan's progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) the way it should be. The importance of CSR for SDGs must be highlighted and counted in the progress of national SDGs.