The RWP-SCM Pakistan JWP was scheduled to be held in Pakistan in the year 2007, but due to the political turmoil in the country it was not possible to go ahead with our scheduled plan in that year. Finally the said programe was organized on the theme From Gender Sensitivity to Genuine Partnership which was held from April 4-7, 2008 at the Ecumenical Centre, Lahore, Pakistan.
The Goals of the programme were:
30 men and women from Multan, Faisalabad, Abottabad, and Lahore participated in the programme representing SCM-Pakistan and Church. The content of the programe were: Gender analysis, Socio-economic-political-religious aspects of Women in Pakistan – Critical analysis, Women’s rights and laws, Bible Studies from the perspectives of partnership and Exposure to the community. The inputs by the resource persons were insightful to understand the root causes of violence against women in general and in Pakistan in particular. Gender analysis defined how it’s constructed and the societal roles given to men and women which reflects the present status of women in the country. Bible studies were conducted from the perspectives of Partnership of women and men, which was welcomed by the participants to promote the concern in collaboration with the Church.
The following resource persons were present to facilitate the sessions Miss Ayra Inderyar (Women Coordinator Lahore Diocese), Miss Nazish Naseem (Women Coordinator NCC-Pakistan), Ms. Tabeta Abdia (Senior Friend, Lecturer, Forman Christian College, Lahore), Mr. Mohsin Zia (Advisor SCM Rawalpindi Unit), Prof. Hanook Fethe Jhung (Advisor SCM Lahore Unite), Rev. Emric Joseph (Advisor SCM Faislabad Unite), Mr. Ezra Shujat (Senior Friend, Advocate High Court)
The organizers and coordinators expressed that organizing the event on the said topic for an Islamic country like Pakistan was a great challenge. The Church and society is very much patriarchal, orthodox and conventional in nature when it comes to women. Hence it is not easy to talk openly about Man & Women in Partnership even within the Chuurch. Nevertheless, the initiative was welcomed by the group from SCM and Church and recommendations were made to advocate the concerns in the community in collaboration with the Church in order to achieve gender justice. The participants felt empowered at the end of the programme and the senior friends of SCM Pakistan are delighted to see the earnest enthusiasm of SCM Team in Pakistan, as this was the first national event of SCMP after a long gape—which also played a role to rejuvenate SCM Pakistan after many years.