Creating Open Space for Shared Experiences
Lahore, Pakistan, 12th October, 2017 — Kaarvan Crafts Foundation has launched a campaign on 1st October, 2017, but rather than using the term campaign — it is more of an open discussion around the topic of women’s role in development and problems of economic discrimination and exclusion.
Through online discussion, workshops, photo studies, and short films we hope to explore a gender-responsive vision. It is through this vision, this imagined image of present reality that we strive to address the problem of “otherness” by engaging in storytelling and dialogue in order to better envision/ imagine the reality of “other” people or our rural neighbors.
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 Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
In order to diminish some of this unbalanced 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 Kaarvan is 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 is to remedy the inequities and to practice gender sensitivity — to perceive the world through their perceptions as much as our own. 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.
We hope you will join us in our first thought experiment – together as equals we can have an honest exchange about difficult issues and painful experiences in an atmosphere of respect and concern for everyone.
About Kaarvan Crafts Foundation
Kaarvan Crafts Foundation is a Not-for-Profit company and also a hub of innovation, passion and humility. We provide training to women in rural areas of Pakistan in order to build their confidence to participate in local decision-making and craving connections with relevant urban markets. Kaarvan is working towards collective movement for a culture of peace from a gender perspective enhancing relational capacities through skills development – skills pertaining not only to profession but also communication, critical thinking and conflict transformation skills (turning a problem into an opportunity).