Monthly Archives: March 2013

Anwar Rashid: For Parween Rahman

You got scared

of an innocent fledging little bird

like all cowards

how easily scared you are

The twitter of nightingales 

the softness of the clouds

the refreshing spray of cold water

has scared you

like all cowards

how easily scared you are

You can kill one Parween

but you cannot kill

the power of an idea Continue reading

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Filed under Pakistan, Women

Parween Rahman: The Legend Lives On

Parween Rahman Slender, almost frail, with her hair down to her waist, her captivating smile and melodious voice, Parween Rahman was a legend in her lifetime. An assailant’s bullets took her life on Wednesday 13 March, 2013 as she was being driven home from work. The target killer snuffed out her life but the legend that she was will live forever. She was 56 years old.

Parween’s father hailed from Patna and her mother hails from Hyderabad Deccan. Her parents’ families moved to East Pakistan (then East Bengal) after the Partition. During the upheaval leading to the creation of Bangladesh, Parween’s family suffered immensely, as some of its members got separated from one another. They finally moved to present day Pakistan and Parween studied to become an architect at Dawood College of Engineering and Technology. She also obtained a post graduate diploma in housing, building and urban planning from the Institute of Housing Studies in Rotterdam. Continue reading


Filed under Discussion, Karachi, Pakistan, Women

Women’s Learning Partnership Film: Because Our Cause Is Just

The wave of Arab revolts that started in Tunisia in December 2010 and then spread throughout the region, were initially ignited by civil movements for rights, justice, and dignity.  Women human rights defenders and democracy activists were at the heart of peaceful movements for change in the streets of Arab countries. In fact, their presence, determination, and demands were grounded in their struggles against dictators over the past few decades. Watch film here or view via the embedded link below. 

However, the political openings caused by these revolts were quickly exploited by fundamentalist religious groups who immediately sought to undermine human rights defenders.  Across the region, women human rights defenders are being targeted for violent attacks, intimidated, threatened, excluded, and undermined.  In addition to physical threats, conservative powers are also attempting to create social rifts between human rights defenders and their communities through stigmatizing women human rights defenders as not legitimately representing national values. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Pakistan, The Arab Spring, Women

Dr Masuma Hasan: International Women’s Day and Aurat Foundation

It was a great day for Aurat Foundation. Not only because 8 March was International Women’s Day but also because the Sindh Assembly unanimously passed long-awaited legislation against domestic violence. In its dying days, the Assembly adopted the Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2013. This much needed legislation, defines domestic violence as:

  • Gender related, physical, emotional, verbal, psychological abuse
  • Pattern of degrading or humiliating conduct
  • Insult, ridicule, threat to cause physical pain, malicious prosecution and threat of violence
  • Obsessive possessiveness or jealousy undermining the privacy, liberty, integrity and security of the victim
  • Baseless accusations
  • Citing barrenness of a spouse for the purpose of marrying again
  • Willful or negligent abandonment of the aggrieved person Continue reading


Filed under Acid attacks, Aurat Foundation, Criminal law, Discussion, Europe, Legislation, Women

Majyd Aziz: Making Karachi Port User-Friendly

Cargo_2011_2012Pakistan is fortunate to have three major ports, namely, Karachi, Port Qasim and Gwadar. Moreover, a fourth port at Keti Bandar is also envisaged. Karachi port provides round-the-clock easy and safe navigation to tankers, modern container vessels, bulk carriers and general cargo ships up to 75,000 DWT (or dead weight tonnage). Karachi Port has 30 dry cargo berths (13 on West Wharves, 17 on East Wharves) and 3 liquid cargo handling berths (POL, meaning “port of loading“, and non-POL) and the Karachi International Container Terminal (KICT) that is privately owned and operated with fully equipped modern technologies. Over 1700 vessels call at the Karachi Port annually while operational capacity is about 3500 ships. The Karachi port’s cargo handling is available here

There is ample scope of enhancing the operational activities of the Karachi port and it is incumbent upon the port authorities, the port operators, and the port users to ensure that this major port of Pakistan is operating at its optimum. Pakistan’s imports and exports have increased substantially in the past few years. This has led to a dynamic enhancement in activities at both the Karachi port as well as Port Qasim. Continue reading

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Filed under Discussion, Karachi, Legislation, Pakistan