Posted on May 26, 2015 by beenasarwar
Insha Afsar: A champion skier from Muzaffarabad.
Thanks to the Association of Pakistani Physicians of New England (APPNE) for the opportunity to meet an inspiring young lady, 14-year old Insha Afsar of Muzaffarabad who lost a leg in the earthquake of 2005 but has risen to become a champion one-legged skier, enabled by her supportive host parents in the USA. My piece in The News on Sunday
Some weeks ago, I happened to sit at the same table as a bright-eyed, long-haired young girl with a wide smile. The only non-desis in the room were the white couple with her. I assumed they were doctors or medical representatives in that hall full of physicians and their families.
But a pair of crutches resting on the table indicated that the girl was Insha Afsar, the 14-year old from Muzaffarabad who lost a leg in the 2005 Kashmir earthquake but has become a skiing sensation as she dominates the slopes — on one leg. Continue reading
Filed under: 'Internally Displaced Persons', Gender | Tagged: amputee, APPNE, Healing the Children, Insha Afsar, interfaith, Kashmir, Kashmir earthquake, Pakistan, prosthesis, skiing | 2 Comments »
Posted on March 21, 2015 by beenasarwar
Jyoti Singh’s death has become a global symbol and the beginning of change. Here’s hoping she did not die in vain… ‘Not just India’s daughter‘: My article for The News on Sunday Special Report on the issue
India has been under the spotlight for the rape and gender violence since the horrific gang rape in Delhi on December 16, 2012. That night, a 23-year-old physiotherapist on her way home from the movies with a male friend was brutally gang-raped by six men in a moving bus in the national capital. She died of her injuries on December 29, 2012. Her friend who tried to save her was also brutally beaten but survived.
The BBC documentary, ‘India’s Daughter’ following up on a rape that shook not just India but the world, and the Indian government’s subsequent ban on the film has re-ignited hot debate on an issue that is relevant to far more than just India or India’s daughters. Continue reading
Filed under: Gender, Media | Tagged: Activism, BBC documentary, censorship, Dalit, Delhi gang rape, gender violence, India's Daughter, Mukhtiar Mai, south asia | 1 Comment »
Posted on September 29, 2014 by beenasarwar
17-yr old Allahdin from Mithi, Tharparkar at hospital in Karachi. Photo: Wahid Khairi
Sharing three appeals for help here from people I trust, for those who would like to get involved or contribute in some way to any of these worthwhile causes:
Filed under: Gender, Health | Tagged: Activism, aplastic anemia, free medical camp, Gender, goats distribution, good cause, indus resource centre, karachi, Pakistan | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 7, 2014 by beenasarwar
Iqbal holds up a picture of his wife, Farzana Parveen, killed outside the Lahore High Court. Photo: Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images
On the murder of Farzana Parveen in Pakistan and the two Dalit girls in India – something I wrote last week, published in The News and in The Times of India blog
There is no honour in killing
End the culture of impunity
Last Tuesday, May 27, two crimes that shocked the world took place, one in the morning in Lahore, Pakistan and the other at night in Uttar Pradesh, India. Three young women – two of them just girls, really, were killed in these incidents. A fourth casualty was the unborn child of the five months pregnant woman in Pakistan. Continue reading
Filed under: Gender, Human rights | Tagged: blood money, Dalit, Farzana, gang rape, honor killing, honour killing, impunity, India, Iqbal, Pakistan, Qisas Diyat, rape, rule of law | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 1, 2014 by beenasarwar
When a court in India ruled in favour of 60-year-old Shah Bano, granting her maintenance (under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code with an upper limit of Rs. 500 a month) from her ex-husband who had divorced her, it was not the first such judgment granting a divorced Muslim woman maintenance under Section 125 like all Indian women. But the orthodox lobby termed the verdict an attack on Islam.
Received the following note via email from Justice Katju in New Delhi, posted below. He has also posted it to his blog.
Uniform Civil Code
The refusal to modernise Muslim law or enact a common civil code has contributed to keeping Muslims backward in India, and has thus done great harm to Muslims
By Justice Markandey Katju
The issue of a uniform civil code has recently been raised. I am fully in support of a uniform civil code.
Article 44 of the Indian Constitution states : “The state shall endeavour to secure for the citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India”. Continue reading
Filed under: Gender, Human rights | Tagged: gender rights, katju, Muslim women, uniform civil code | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 24, 2014 by beenasarwar
Arif Hasan and Perween Rehman: Architects with ethics
Perween Rehman, photo by Steve Inskeep, NPR
An abbreviated version of my article on the symposium held at MIT to commemorate Perween Rehman and her legacy was published in The News on Sunday last weekend, titled Commitment personified. Below, the full text with additional links and photos:
Speakers at a symposium in the Boston area last week, on “The Orangi Pilot Project and Legacy of Architect Perween Rehman” paid tribute to the late architect and OPP director, as “a woman, architect and social activist”. They also discussed parallels between the issues faced by the urban poor in and elsewhere. Hosted by the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the symposium featured prominent academics from India, Pakistan and the United States. The event, spearheaded by graduate students Fizzah Sajjad and Hala B. Malik from Lahore, had been in the planning soon after the murder of Perween Rehman in Karachi on March 13, 2013. Continue reading
Filed under: Environment, Gender, Health, Pakistan | Tagged: Akhtar Hameed Khan, Arif Hasan, Comilla, OPP, Perween Rehman | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 14, 2014 by beenasarwar
Updated version of my PERSONAL POLITICAL column published in The News op-ed and TOI blogs on Friday
Shahid Afridi’s googly lobbed at women’s cricket in Pakistan in an interview, dismissing women as just good cooks, went viral on social media over the past few days.
And recently, the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) decreed that Pakistani laws that prohibit under-age marriage and place conditions on a married man’s attempts to take another wife are ‘un-Islamic’.
Ostensibly very different, both stem from the same patriarchal mind-set that sees women as inferior to men, justifying itself by invoking religion or cultural traditions. Continue reading
Filed under: Gender | Tagged: child marriage, CII Pakistan, Gender, Pakistan Family Laws, second marriage, Shahid Afridi, women | 3 Comments »