Aurat Hunar Mela starts from March 8

ISLAMABAD  -  The 10th edition of the 3-day long ‘Aurat Hunar Mela’ (National Wom­en-at-Work Festival) to showcase women’s work, products, and ser­vices starts from March 8 at the Lok Virsa, Shakarparian here.

This is the annual flagship event of Devcom-Pakistan (Development Communications Network) to mark the UN’s International Women’s Day that falls on March 8, said a press release on Saturday. This year the event is being organized in collabo­ration with the National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) and, the Federal Ministry of National Heritage and Culture.

Speaking to this scribe, Devcom-Pakistan Executive Director Munir Ahmed said that over 100 marginal­ized communities and self-employed women will showcase their prod­ucts, skills, and services. They will be coming from different far-flung areas such as northern parts includ­ing Chitral, Gilgit and Baltistan, Balo­chistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and South Punjab. This is, in essence, the theme of this year’s Interna­tional Women’s Day that emphasizes “inspire inclusion”. He said several women folk singers will perform all three days while paintings of women artists will also be put on display at the Heritage Museum Gallery at the Lok Virsa. A conference on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Wom­en’s Development will highlight the importance of the corporate sector’s initiatives for women’s development. Some of the best initiatives will be recognized with awards. 

He said the 8 March is a significant UN day dedicated to ensuring wom­en’s rights, empowerment, and main­streaming of their work. The celebra­tion of the Day has played a key role in the global growth of women’s rights campaigns, participation in the po­litical and economic arenas, and em­powerment movement. The theme of 2024 International Women’s Day is very close to the heart of Devcom-Pakistan, a nonprofit voluntary orga­nization that has been promoting and mainstreaming marginalized wom­en’s work since its inception in 2003.

Munir Ahmed said that Devcom-Pakistan founded “Aurat Hunnar Mela” in 2012 to celebrate women’s work to inspire more women to enter into different sectors with proactive approaches. The event especially in­cludes, promoting and mainstream­ing women’s human rights and eco­nomic empowerment, and the work of community women to strengthen their voices for social, economic, and political participation.

From this year, he said Devcom-Pakistan will launch awards to recog­nize, encourage, and appreciate the corporate sector for their great work under their Corporate Social Respon­sibility for women’s development. The Devcom-Pakistan CSR Award for women’s development will include significant initiatives of the organiza­tions in the corporate sector contrib­uting to women’s education, health and hygiene, food and nutrition, skills development, economic em­powerment, and ensuring women-friendly policies and practices with women’s internal engagement.

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