A subset of roughly 51% of the population is occupied by brave, unsung heroes for whom each day is a battle-Females. You and I are part of this battle just as much as anyone else, as defenders, offenders or as by-standers. A discussion of the struggle of widows demands an acknowledgment of a lack of society’s support towards these individuals; the absence of sociological safeguards and the presence of ill-advised remarks, to name a few.
Fem-power, a campaign to fight these odds, after a short period of dormancy, is back with rejuvenated spirits and has been revamped by NCSC. To kick-off our new journey, the 16th of May, marked an interactive session studded with epitomes of courage and gutsiness at NIT Auditorium, NUST, under the name, “I am Woman, Hear me Roar”.
The speakers included Waliya Najib, a self-proclaimed, autodidact photographer based in Islamabad who proved her mettle swiftly in a couple of years.
The second speaker gracing the occasion was Ghazala Bangash, whose long-drawn-out life experiences simply can’t be put into words by scribblers like me. She pioneered this driving-training half a century ago for girls. She can still recount the same retro-shallowness of minds that is kept, even today towards feminal driving. Her mantra is “Stop whining, start living. Be brave and learn how to drive as I did!”
The third speaker, Shahnaz Kapadia, being our firebrand and literally- the rabble rouser, created the ambience of a true motivational TED talk. She reflected upon the impediments that once were on her way to becoming a multi-million dollar (churner) business-woman. Today, she is content. She is filled with a charismatic stimulus; she is a game-lifter, an expert on gender studies, still against all odds faced by a woman entrepreneur in our society. And yes, she effortlessly tackled the somehow-knotty questions afterwards during a ‘Questions & Answers’ session.
The once buoyed up house met some goose bumps when a slight mention of her son’s death during the Kashmir earthquake was made. After successfully returning from the gloom’s abyss, today Ms. Kapadia is a running fount of valor, for men and women alike.
The question is, should we settle with the current norms of society? Is shoving widows, the underprivileged women, to nooks of condescension justified? At what point do society’s remarks turn to due laudation? Surely, someone needs to lay the foundations of some sort of panel intent on fighting this injustice.
We, team FEMPOWER, aim to help women, especially forlorn widows surviving without bread-winners, in the suburbs of Islamabad presently, and appeal for the identification of deserving cases.
Our fight is against the scathing legacy left behind by yesterday’s society, plagued by sexist and scornful traditions targeted towards these unfortunate souls. Our mission is to extricate the lives of women who want to support their destitute families on their own, as these are individuals easily foraged upon by societal misogyny.