Islamabad - A concert arranged to pay tribute to the legendary women singers and highlight their life time achievements enthralled the audience of twin cities here at Lok Virsa yesterday.

The event was arranged by National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage, Lok Virsa in which the singers presented popular melodies of the legendary women singers to relive their memory in connection with celebrations of International Women’s Day. The last programme of the women’s day celebrations is the concert with melodious singing of Beenish Pervaiz here on March 14.

“At Lok Virsa we strongly encourage our women singers to balance off the lopsidedness of the male domination of our cultural expressions. Lok Virsa invites Beenish Pervaiz, a young singer committed to acquire formal training of music and pursuing classical singing professionally,” said Fouzia Saeed, Executive Director Lok Virsa while talking to APP.

Beenish Pervaiz is a talented Pakistani singer known for her melodious and soulful voice, and can sing various genres with ease. She nurtured her singing abilities by becoming a student of Ustad Faiz Ahmed Khan (late) of the Gwalior gharana since the early age of 8, and gained intensive vocal training.

She has won various singing awards, including the prestigious All Pakistan Music Conference and Lahore Arts Council gold medals. She has also been mentored by Madam Farida Khanum, an experience she truly cherishes. Beenish recently started commercialising her music and now appears regularly on national channels and her tracks have been received extremely well by music composers and the general public. She has acknowledged Lata Mangeshkar, Farida Khanum and Ustad Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan as her inspirations. Beenish believes music has no language and can spread the message of love and peace, which is so needed in today’s world.

Lok Virsa has always been in the front row for any initiative that leads to the empowerment of women with special focus on the cultural heritage of Pakistan. This year’s theme for international women’s day is art and culture. Lok Virsa being a national premier institute of culture, with history of four decades, embodies the identity of a keeper of traditional culture and folklore. In year 2016 Lok Virsa intends to celebrate the International Women’s Day and unleash the power of culture.

It will encourage women to reclaim the 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 were legitimized in the name of honor and tradition.

Women were restricted from utilizing their abilities in public life in the name of their “traditional role” and society stayed silent at heinous atrocities, protecting, so to speak, “sanctity of feminine.”

Women have the same cultural rights to enjoy creativity, performing arts, aesthetics and means of expression as anyone else in a society. But these areas get stigmatize when it comes to women, sometimes in the name of morality and sometimes as a means for their `protection’, she added.