KARACHI             -            Members of Aurat Foundation (AF) celebrated 34th anniversary of the organisation with a resolve to further accelerate their journey towards empowerment of women status across the country.

In a simple ceremony to mark the occasion AF team, led by its Regional Director for Sindh, Mahnaz Rehman, however, did refer to hitches being faced in sustaining the cause.

“I do hope that like-minded people and members of civil society in general would come forward to help brave the challenges,” she said.

Malka Khan, one the senior members of AF-Karachi team discussed the projects currently underway including “Jazba” focussed on orientation and grooming of women political workers at grass root level.

Projects for economic and social empowerment of women associated with small scale and home based industries was said to be also under progress with the motive to enhance bargaining capacities of those who are often little heard.

A particular mention was made of the AF project aimed at strengthening of government owned shelter homes in different cities of Sindh. 

The two activists but regretted that despite a long history to deliver AF’s application for renewal of its registration is pending for almost a year.

AF was said to had not only helped raise awareness but also factually getting materialized series of women rights, over the years, in the country.

They also paid glowing tributes to Nigar Ahmed and Shahla Zia - the two of the most prominent founding members of Aurat Foundation.

Parliamentarians, from both the treasury and opposition benches, having joined the AF family on the occasion, appreciated the latter for supporting them to realize their responsibilities as law makers over the years.

Many of the public friendly laws as well as those that guaranteed security and empowerment of women, in varied capacities,  were said to be floated on the floor of house through adequate  sensitization and guidance provided by AF.

PTI Member of Sindh Assembly, Adeeba Hasan was joined by her MQM colleague Rana Ansar in her proposition to develop a forum for capacity building and sensitization of women joining the political field.

This, she said would pave way for actual empowerment of the young politicians in terms of their understanding about law making and its proper enforcement.

It was observed that efficient implementation of laws already adopted in the province has emerged to be a challenge in itself.

Adeeba Hasan particularly hailed the Chairperson of Sindh Commission on Women Status, Nuzhat Shirin who as an AF member played a significant role in enabling women legislators to rise above their respective political affiliations and join hands for cause of vulnerable segments of the society.

Tasnim A Siddiqui, a civil rights activist and also a member of AF board shared in detail measures required to engage people at grass root level in the process of development.

Nuzhat Parveen (representing home based workers), Farhat Parveen (actively engaged in labour rights related activities), Sabiha Shah (Chairperson Women Development Foundation), Mussarat Jabeen (Sindh Women Development Department) and others also spoke on the occasion.

It was almost unanimously agreed that dependence on foreign funding must be reduced and that NGOs must come together to support causes critically needed in the country.