International Women’s Day was first recognized in 1908 when 15,000 women stepped out of their homes and paraded on the streets of New York City. They openly demanded equal voting rights, better compensation at work, and lesser work hours. Ever since, International Women’s Day (IWD) is a worldwide celebration that emphasises the achievements of heroic women who remain unbeaten in economic, cultural, political, and social causes across the globe. IWD commemoration every year reminds people how far we’ve come along this purpose and the work that remains.

The 2022 campaign theme for IWD is #BreakTheBias. It stresses gender equality and a world that is free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination. A planet that is diverse in all aspects, impartial, and inclusive of everyone, irrespective of their colour, caste or creed. You can celebrate with full enthusiasm even if you’re not a celebrity, activist or leader. Start by supporting an NGO that works for women’s rights, attend a seminar or webinar, collaborate with companies run by female administrators, hold or attend a party held in honour of IWD at work or home and you can even volunteer to mentor the young generation on various topics.

Pakistanis are equally excited to honour IWD as the rest of the globe. We look forward to having a world where difference is valued and glorified. We believe that collectively we can forge women’s equality and together we can all #BreakTheBias. We can break the bias in our communities, workplaces, schools, colleges and universities as a whole. For the same reasons, we hold events to raise awareness of IWD.

One such event was the Women’s Empowerment Seminar that was organized by the Human Rights Youth Organization (HRYO) and the Salvation Army of Pakistan. The event began with the recitation of the Holy Quran and prayers of the Christian and Hindu communities, followed by the national anthem  of Pakistan. The speakers of the seminar highlighted the roles and services of women in all spheres of society and the issues being faced by women across the globe. Girls at the event sang a special song to commemorate International Women’s Day.

Attended by women from all walks of life, the purpose of the seminar was to empower women and to pay tribute to the brave women of the society by presenting them with awards. MNA Mrs. Shehla Ruth was the chief guest of the event. The seminar was attended by more than 200 women, including police officers, teachers, housewives, businesswomen, actors, bankers, doctors, Allama’s, social activists and many others. The seminar was hosted by Mrs. Erum Saaim, Chairperson of the PwD Wing Human Rights Youth Organization, Dr. Fauzia Keeriu, President of the Women’s Wing Human Rights Youth Organization, and the Salvation Army Captain Ms. Amna Zeeshan.

Highly appreciated by all the participants, the highlight of the seminar was the presence of people from all faiths under one roof in the Corps Central Hall Church. This set an example of a great religious harmony. The fantastic seminar ended with the cutting of a cake based on the theme of IWD and all the participants were served delicious refreshments. Everyone went home with smiling faces.

Another event to mark IWD was held by the Human Rights Council of Pakistan (HRCP) in collaboration with the Soch Aurat Project. Mr Jamshed, Chairman HRCP, and Chairwoman Soch Aurat Project Ms Rehan6a Aziz graced the occasion with their presence. Vice-Chair Soch Aurat Project Ms Parsa Fatima, Finance Secretary Ms Baqia Zehra and other prominent attendees were Ms Huma Naz, Ms Naseem Bukhari, Ms Talat Noreen and Ms Nazia Rabbani who delivered excellent speeches at the venue. The event could not have been possible without these fundamental personalities.

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