ISLAMABAD-National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) will hold day-long colourful cultural activities to mark the National Women Day here on February 12.

The event is being arranged by Lok Virsa in collaboration with Federal Ombudsman Secretariat for Protection against Harassment (FOSPAH) and Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy featuring special programmes to celebrate the forthcoming National Women Day.

Special features of the programme include exhibition of women artisans-at-work featuring women master artisans in different specialised craft fields and a prestigious opening ceremony with live colourful folk musical performances by young women artistes and multi-media presentations on women issues.

Federal Ombudsperson Kashmala Tariq will be chief guest on the occasion while the opening ceremony will take place at the Heritage Museum.

Lok Virsa has always been in the front row for any initiative that leads to empowerment of women with special focus on the cultural heritage of Pakistan. National Women’s Day is an opportunity to recognise women’s achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political. It is an occasion for looking back on past struggles and accomplishments and looking ahead to the potential and opportunities that await future generations of women, said the organisers. It will encourage women to reclaim progressive spaces provided within the culture and use this day as a step forward into this process. For long, traditional culture has been abused to restrain and suppress women. Crimes against women have been legitimised in the name of honour and tradition. Women are restricted from utilising their abilities in public life in the name of their traditional role and the society stayed silent at heinous atrocities against women. Women have the same rights to enjoy creativity, performing arts and means of expression as anyone else in a society. But these areas get stigmatise when it comes to women, sometimes in the name of morality and protection, the organisers said.