ISLAMABAD – Girls from various educational institutions participated in the art, speech, and drama competitions arranged in connection with the 2nd National Women-at-Work Festival at F-9 Park.

The festival was organized by the Development Communications Network (DEVCOM-Pakistan) in collaboration with the ICIMOD, Pakistan Bait-ul Maal, Islamabad Crescent Lions Club (ICLC), Nazria Pakistan Council, and the Debating and Literary Society of the Quaid-e-Azam University.

Theme of the painting competition was `The empowered womanhood’ in which 38 students from different colleges and Fatima Jinnah University took part and presented their creative genius on canvas with oil paint and expressed their vision on the theme.

The judges of the competition included Riffat Ara Baig, Beenish Azam, Mariam Rasul and Seep Mufti. Renowned artist couple Mansur Rahi and Hajra Mansur were the chief guests.

Expressing his thoughts, Mansur Rahi said the girls have portrayed the issues confronting women very diligently. He said they need to create more opportunities for the youth to express their creative calibre.

In the speech contest, the students spoke about the role of women from the independence to the development of the country. The young speakers mentioned about the sacrifices of the women for the independence, and said they are sacrificing even today as well.

Each word of the speakers was loaded with the blood and tear of women sacrifices, which drenched and soaked the freedom and liberty of this country.

Speakers also highlighted every brick placed by woman in the progressive building of Pakistan. A click of oppression and transgression on woman was also brought into light. The youth ambassadors gave a solution of major issues so that their voice could be heard on global forums.

They named the bright stars of Pakistani woman who became leaders and nominated their country among the most developed countries.

Ambreen Zahra, president of the Debating and Literary Society (QAU) presided over the ceremony and the responsibilities of the judges were performed by Taqi Jawad and Ayesha Jameel whereas Abdul Wahid Jasra.

Sidra Riaz was declared the best speaker in English category while in Urdu category Sherbaz Ali Khan and Shakeel Ahmad were nominated. The special speaker prize was bagged by Saima Kareem.

The students of the four educational institutions performed their plays highlighting he women agony in different parts of the country.