Pakistan Society for Disabled Women, Newsletter for 2004
Reported by Ms. Shumiala Asif, Program Officer, SDW Pakistan (email@example.com)
SDW monthly meeting held in the first week of Jan 2004. The whole year progress was discussed and new targets were set. In the meeting the letters of committees of different rural areas women were reviewed in which they had mentioned that many disabled women do not get chance to go around the country to visit different places. We would like to have some exposure through picnic tours and also by celebrating women day and international events concerned with women.
SDW is already arranging awareness activities for disabled women in the far rural areas, but we will try our level best to organize international events especially for disabled women who are living in far villages. Also we will write to organizations across the country to invite our disabled women for training women and exposure seminars.
It is notable that SDW started another office in district Toba of SDW has been running since December 2003. There are three staff members one paid and two volunteers' women working for Disabled women in the remote areas. We are thankful to Human Development Center Toba Tek Singh for providing us place for office.
Ms. Shumiala Asif program officer (SDW) visited SDW Toba office and organized training program for staff members.
The sewing machines have been distributed to 13 skilled disabled girls and women with help of local donations.
Society for Disabled Women focuses on the recognition of Disabled women in the male dominant society, and for this purpose SDW plans to organized different awareness activities for women at community level. SDW encourage bringing out the hidden talent of Disabled Women.
SDW district Toba office is striving for to motivate disabled women from far villages to become members. The literacy rate in the rural areas is very low and Disabled women community is completely unaware of and also these women are also discouraged to take part in social activities.
The SDW team in Toba district organized awareness meetings for Disabled women in the local villages.
The field workers of SDW Faisalabad district organized group meetings with disabled women members and planned to celebrate women day on 8th of March.
The disabled women are the most neglected part of the male dominant society. SDW is making sincere efforts to give them recognition at community level. SDW aims to introduce disabled women as skilled, professional person in the practical fields.
The disabled women groups were all gathered in SDW Faisalabad office for women day celebration on 8th of March.
The awareness seminar was organized on skill development. The disabled women members of SDW attended program and were given awareness about the skills they can learn according to their living environment of surroundings.
SDW Toba organized a group of 15 disabled women and girls after three months struggle and motivation. The meeting was organized and Ms. Fakhra Ashraf Coordinator women desk (HDC) gave talk to new members about women development issues.
There is very common issue here in the remote areas, that women are victims of honor killing and in sexual harassment cases. Hundreds of disabled women are victim of honor killings, sexual harassment and abduction cases, who do not get attention of the media and no body, pursue their cases.
SDW collected some of the case studies of disabled women who have been raped. These disabled women are afraid of sharing the incident. It seems that some body has threatened them. They were not agreeing to become member of SDW. We are stilling working on and SDW aim to start awareness program with these victims of sexual harassment.
SDW learnt from a survey report, almost disabled women are found unmarried in the rural and urban areas. The report mentioned two reasons:- one is that parents or guardians of disabled women and girls do not encourage them to learn some skills or just consider them useless part of the society and family. If they are skilled or educated may be they have chance to get marry. The other reason was given that people show sympathetic attitude for disabled female. They think disabled wife won't be able to look after the house and children.
SDW aims to empower disabled women to look after herself and her needs.
The interfaith activities of SDW help to promote peace and harmony among the individual disabled women members.
SDW is working for the uplift and recognition of disabled women. SDW organized awareness seminar and invited community organizations representatives from the local community development organizations. The purpose of the meeting was to reflect women status in male dominant society.
A disabled member Perveen Saleem (dumb) from Toba Tek Singh is good at making handicrafts, she made some very unique designs and SDW Faisalabad office has taken responsibility to market the skill to get some business for her, so that she may be able to support herself.
A disabled women Sumera (polio affected legs) from SDW Faisalabad attended two days workshop on skill development organized by Women Working for Women.
SDW believe that disabled women can only make herself important member of the society if she is able to earn her own livings.
SDW members running sewing center for disabled women members, and some women already have sewing skills and staying free at home. SDW organized meeting and invited sewing experts to guide these disabled girls and women. The topic was " how to utilize their potential and skill".
The field workers marketing the products stitched by disabled women to get business to earn livings. SDW planned to promote their sewing skills in the market.
Political awareness seminar organized for the disabled women members with the coordination of district government officials. It was concluded, there are hundreds of disabled women and girls with out national identity cards and vote registration.
SDW support human rights of women at all levels of society. SDW is against all types of discriminations and unjust attitudes of the society.
Society for Disabled Women organized awareness meeting for women community organizations. The 10 members of five organizations participated.
We are thankful to DOM, WWW, Mercy Shelter, SATH, TRC, for participation, also we are thankful to Mr. Pagaan from HDC for conducting the activity.
Women Working for Women (WWW) organized beauty parlor course for women in the community, Ms. Shazia from SDW Faisalabad attended training course.
There are number of women organizations working on women issues, SDW seek to extend relationships and promote partnership on women development issues.
Society for Disabled Women got registration under the trust act of government of Pakistan on 8th of August.
SDW Toba Tek Singh organized seminar on Sexual harassment and honor killing of disabled women on 18th of August. SDW Faisalabad, HDC Toba office, TRC, SATH, AWARD NGO Faisalabad, participated.
SDW started one year awareness action plan on sexual harassment against disabled women in the month of August.
The awareness through practical activities is more useful, like performing skits help disabled illiterate women to understand the problems easily.
SDW already collected some case studies in April 2004 about disabled women sexual harassment victims, these women were invited for the awareness program. The victims of rape and abduction cases will be involved in the action plan for Disabled women awareness program.
Disabled Women of sewing center took part in exhibition organized by textile factory. Some cloth gifts were awarded to all women participants and who presented their stitched garment products.
SATH Theater group started working with SDW in Toba Tek Singh to promote awareness through drama activities.
SDW started motivation plan with disabled women members about awareness and importance of national identity cards.
The disabled women community suffers due to inhumane attitude and behavior of male dominant society.
Ms. Catharine Coordinator SDW Toba office organized a meeting for more than 45 disabled women members from rural areas. The women were gathered in a group first time. It was tough target to bring them at one place. She started collecting them early morning to bring them at program venue. We are thankful to HDC for providing van for pick and drop of disabled women.
SDW Faisalabad visited a government school of special education in the city area. We met principal and children and presented some gifts to these poor and needy disabled children.
SDW invited some of the media people from local newspaper and district government officials to brief them about awareness action plan of sexual harassment against disabled women.
A motivation through mutual understanding makes the task easy to perform.
Planning for coming up International Disabled Day on 3rd December, SDW organized combined staff meeting for both offices to plan out the activity on 3rd of December for international disabled day.
SDW Toba office arranged Aftar party for all disabled women members in the holy month of Ramzan.
SDW team workers started campaign in November for having joint venture for all the disabled women groups on International Disabled Day. It was decided to leave all other activities and just to concentrate on motivating disabled women to come for the celebration of International Disabled Day.
International, local cultural events celebrations bring solidarity and prosperity among individuals and groups of communities.
International Disabled Day was celebrated on 3rd of December 2004, more than 250 disabled women and girls from Faisalabad and Toba districts participated in the program. The disabled women and girls were told about the importance of Disabled Day and gifts were distributed.
In the monthly board meeting of SDW, it was decided that motivation plan for disabled women for new national identity cards and vote registration will be continued.
For more information, contact:
Society for Disabled Women
St# 9 Barkat pura