LAHORE: Kaarvan Crafts Foundation, working for the economic empowerment of women in low income communities, is organizing series of workshops with multiple institutions in Lahore in connection with International Women’s Day being observed on October 15 in Pakistan and elsewhere around the world.
These workshops aim at mainstreaming gender into educational institutions and developing community engagement with the youth to build capacity for gender sensitivity, gender tolerance and respect for human rights.
Institutions where these workshops are going to be held include Lahore University of Management Sciences, Beaconhouse National University, Kaarvan’s Livestock Training Centre at Kasur, and others.
Through online discussion, workshops, photo studies, and short films Kaarvan hopes to explore a gender-responsive vision.
Everyone has the right to express themselves. In Pakistan this right is mostly claimed and coveted by the elite – people with power who create our norms, our standards, and our narrative. Kaarvan believes in inclusivity for all, especially for the marginalized low-income females living in rural areas of Pakistan.
According to the Danish Jabbar Khan (CEO Kaarvan Crafts Foundation), in order to diminish some of this imbalanced power dynamics present in our culture, Kaarvan wishes to create a safe space for dialogue between two communities (the rural & the urban) who normally do not communicate with each other. By creating a safe space for discussion letting the rural women speak for themselves rather than speaking for them. This is an action towards mainstreaming a gender perspective by bringing rural women to the front.
Objectives behind organizing these workshops is to shift the perspective from sympathy to empathy towards the rural women and exercise self-reflection and self-identification to become more aware of our underlying thoughts or perhaps biases that guide our behavior. To listen respectfully to a person’s story is to honor that person’s intrinsic worth and to empower the storyteller in a constructive way.
Once all workshops with the educational institutions are held, Kaarvan Foundation will hold learning sharing conference, the date of which will be notified later, where the different educational institutions will share their findings with each other.