[Pakistan] Iron ladies: Celebrating women of substance

Express Tribune – Monday, 17 March 2014 (originally published 10 Mar)

A photo array depicting Pakistani women
A photo array depicting the issues facing women (left) calligraphy with the words of two famous Pakistani women (right).

ISLAMABAD: As women carve out a place within a terrain long inured to men, there are leaps to celebrate and bounds yet made. In marking International Women’s Day, the Nomad Art Gallery paid tribute to six women whose resolve, intellect and courage has shaped much of the discourse towards women empowerment.

For Nomad Curator Nageen Hyat, art — a discipline she has dedicated over three decades to — has the power to rouse emotion, to build awareness and inevitably steer change. The event, “Art for Social Change: women, violence and art”, was a manifestation of this conviction, celebrating the iconic role of poets Parveen Shakir and Kishwar Naheed, Pakistani nightingale Noor Jahan, folk singer Reshma, classical dancer Naheed Siddiqui and former prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

“The show aspires to empower women and girls with new behavioral choices,” She expressed, as people crowded within the space lined with photographs, paintings and poetic finesse, relating the collective voice of struggle and success more cutting than the white walls that it inhabited . . .

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