Friday, February 3
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Call to raise awareness about violence against women

KARACHI: The internationally acclaimed documentary play Seven continued its tour in Pakistan, as an ensemble reading of the play was staged at the Habib University in Karachi. Readers on stage were Chairperson, Sindh Commission on the Status of Women (SCSW) Ms. Nuzhat Shirin; Member of National Assembly (PPP) Ms. Shazia Atta Marri; Women and Human Rights Activist, Ms. Pushpa Kumari; TV and Film Actress Ms. Sarwat Gilani Mirza; Singer and Actor Mr. Asim Azhar; Musician and Actress Ms. Natasha Humera Ejaz and Lawyer and Broadcast Journalist Ms. Ayesha Tammy Haq. The play was directed by Ms. Tulin Khalid Azim.

The purpose of the event was to promote access to justice for female victims of violence by raising awareness on Pakistan’s existing legal services and framework on violence against women, such as the Federal Ministry of Human Rights’ toll-free helpline (1099) and legal advice to victims of violence, and provincial laws and services such as the Sindh Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Act 2013 and the Women Complaint Cell established by Sindh’s Women Development Department.

Ms. Sarwat Gilani said at the occasion that, “These are the super heroes that need to be set as an example for our youth. And these are the stories that our youth, women and children need to know so that they can understand equality and women’s rights.” The event was attended by approximately 150 people, including high-level officials, activists, students and dignitaries who graced the occasion with their presence.

The Embassy of Sweden in Pakistan, The European Union Delegation to Pakistan, The United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (UN Women) and the Potohar Organisation for Development Advocacy (PODA), in collaboration with the Swedish Institute, organized the event. The play is produced by Hedda Krausz Sjogren and written in 2007 by seven playwrights: Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Carol K. Mack, Ruth Margraff, Anna Deveare-Smith and Susan Yankowitz in collaboration with Vital Voices Global Partnership.