Celebration of International Women,s Day 2015

A program was organized for women on 8th March 2015.Mr. Yuel Bhatti, Executive Secretary, URI Pakistan welcome the guests saying:

That today we all are happy to be a part of this program. We will rejoice and celebrate. Thank you for inviting us men too. On this day throughout the world women are celebrating their day. This program is being hosted by URI Pakistan and the Peace Centre. URI is currently working in 87 countries. The formation of the Peace Centre was the vision of Father James Channon OP. Mr. Yuel Bhatti mentioned that in Pakistan there are now 45 Cooperation Circles.

Sister Sabina, Coordinator of URI women wing, Global Initiative, and chairperson of Women and Kids Education (WAKE) invited Sister Abida to lead the Christian prayer. who prayed for peace in the land and for progress in the work of URI. The Muslim prayer was led by Ms. Ayesha Mubishara from Minhaj-ul-Quranwho translated a verse from the Holy Quran which says that “no doubt prayerful men and women are partners who work for good and pay their respect to Allah and give the poor their due.”Dr Rohiya Mufdi (a gynecologist by profession) from the Bahai community read from her holy book which stated “O thou kind lord thou has created people from the same stock and all are equal. Oh God thou art kin to all and shelter us. Oh thou kind Lord may we all live together in harmony. She said that “working for the uplift of humanity is central in their faith. Men and women are equal. Sabina Rifat informed the guests about the URI women wing and Global Initiative which is a platform to encourage women so that they are able to contribute and feel that they are not less than men regardless of the work they do. She mentioned that through WAKE they have started working in Cholistan with the brick kiln workers and are organizing vocational training classes for them. 

Ms. Sabina Rifat also said that “this program is not just a program but a celebration for women. But the men should not lose heart as they are welcome to join us and we have to work side by side.”

A Better Community for All and Youth Peace Revolution cc’s presented a welcome song. After this the message of Banki Moon, UN Secretary General was presented through the multi-media. Inwhich the theme of this day and celebration was highlighted .That is empowerment of women is empowerment of Humanity. 

Sabina Rifat read out the message of Sally Mahe, fromURI global Officeand. This message stated 

“Dear Sabina Rifat and all present at the seminar, Blessings galore for this important solidarity and shared strength among women. Let us stand together every day and especially March 8 to proclaim the power of love has overtaken the love of power.

Many blessings to you and gratitude for raising your voice with the other women leaders.”

Message from Sr Teresa Westermeier from Germany was read by Asher Nazir.She says,

“I wish every woman there joy about her being as woman and the courage to stand together and to remind each other that God created the woman and she has dignity and special purpose in creating peace and love among your people. I'm with you all in prayers and love. ‘

From URI women a multi-media presentation was presented of the activities by and for women. This presentation highlighted many of the meetings and events which were organized through women wing. There were candle light vigils and pictures of the celebration of various international days too. The presentation ended with a quote that “There is no greater joy than making a difference to someone’s life and every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.”

Shabnam Nagi, an advocate at the High Court Lahore spoke about her interfaith organization. She mentioned that she has handled quite a few cases from minorities She then went on saying:

Women can play many vital roles, as teacher she can encourage her students. There is a need to help the youth to respect women for which we must speak of our rights. As privileged women we should go out looking for women we can help through theeducation or guiding them to reach their full potential. 

“Myjourney with my foundation-Noor Foundation started with when acid was thrown on me. During 2013-15 I helped 32 blind women get sight form the 20 lakh donation I received from (Minhaj-ul-Quran Foundation) for purchasing eyes from Sri Lanka.”

Advocate Gulnar talked highly about URI’s efforts to empower women and assured of her collaboration always.

Sabina Rifat thanked Advocate high Court Ms Shabnum Nagi , Advocate Gulnar, Dr.Roohia Mufdi andMs. Ayesha Mubishara, sayng we need such strong women who raise their voice for minorities and take their stand. Mentioning the women’s initiative of URI she said that so far through URI 120 women have received skill training. She felt that when we talk of advancement then it is crucial that women receive an education without which no progress is possible.

Father Pascal Paulus, Vice Provincial of the Dominican Order said, “It was great to see people celebrating women’s day with joy rather than anger and hatred towards men. He stated he went to a women’s program where all the girls were angrily talking about men. In this program what I like is that you are positive and making effort to bring respect to women. Women and men are like two wheels of car and cannot function without each other. I think a home is not complete with a woman.. I pray that women’s status in Pakistan be elevated.

Father James Channon OP Regional Coordinator URI Pakistan felt that even though women are discriminated in certain fields, yet there are many exceptional women like Malala Yousafzai (Noble Prize Winner), the first woman pilot, the first woman Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, Hina Rabbani, first foreign Minister. These women have displayed their talent. This shows that women who are now in every walk of life can work hard and fulfill their dreams in becoming what they want to be.

There was a group discussion among women on the role of a woman in the family and society. Women sang songs and have joyful time together.

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