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 »
Posted on March 9, 2014 by beenasarwar
Left to right, medical student Saima Firdous, Dr Jamila Khalil, Sarah Peck, Dr Khalil Khatri. Photos: Beena Sarwar
My report for Inter Press Service, March 8, 2014. Picked up by newspapers around the world – I like the headline Asia Times gave it: Women doctors say what ails Pakistan
BOSTON, United States, Mar 8 2014 (IPS) – On one of her many visits to Pakistan recently, Sarah Peck, director of the US-Pakistan Women’s Council, spent some time talking to young women medical students in Pakistan. She was struck by their passion and commitment — and by the hurdles they face.
The US-Pakistan Women’s Council is working with expatriate Pakistani doctors to find ways to encourage women qualifying as doctors in Pakistan to practice medicine.
Women outnumber male students in medical colleges across Pakistan, forming up to 85 percent of the student body in private universities and 65 percent in the public sector. Continue reading
Filed under: Education, Gender | 2 Comments »
Posted on February 12, 2014 by beenasarwar
Lahore, Feb 12, 1983: Police lathi charge demonstrators. Photo: Rahat Ali Dar
The News published a slightly toned down version of my article, The Feb 12 pledge. Un-edited text below, followed by a postscript linking this struggle to Malala. More photos at this link.
Renewing the Feb 12 pledge
By Beena Sarwar
Every February 12 we commemorate Pakistan Women’s Day in honour of those who gathered at Lahore’s Regal Chowk on that day in 1983, defying the military order against public gatherings, to protest Gen. Zia’s ‘Law of Evidence’ that upheld the testimony of a male as equal to that of two females in a court of law. The police attacked the demonstrators with batons and arrested several, including the venerated poet Habib Jalib whom Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif is fond of quoting. Continue reading
Filed under: 'War on terror', Gender | Tagged: eqbal ahmad, Feb 12, Habib Jalib, Malala, Pakistan Women's Day, TTP | 2 Comments »