Just four days before the WSF starts in Karachi on 24th March, it is common knowledge that leading women rights organizations in Pakistan have detached themselves from the WSF and will not participate in any event.
Just four days before the WSF starts in Karachi on 24th March, it is common knowledge that leading women rights organizations in Pakistan have detached themselves from the WSF and will not participate in any event. These large, reputed organizations include Shirkat Gah, Aurat Foundation, Simorgh, PAVHNA and quite a few others.
The reason for not participating is known to be that they are low on resources, the time, physical or mental strength or spare women power to do so. Since most of them had been deeply involved in raising funds and managing relief operations in earthquake affected areas, they are overworked and short of funds. One of the representative said "What we don’t need is a WSF at this point of time, unprepared". "But everyone is free to visit it"…they added.
Another representative said, "We will prepare longer term for a Women’s Social Forum".
Am very new to the WSF process and may not understand the real dynamics of the event but one thing which I have personally felt is that Pakistan was NOT prepared for such a big event… even though it is not BIG anymore… There are issues with fund raising, logistics, visas, venues and above all very few people know about the WSF process and its true spirit as how is it organized. I have been to Hyderabad last week, a large city about two hours from Karachi, where I did discuss with folks as how they were planning to attend the event but unfortunately, not many were aware of the WSF itself. Social mobilization seems to be very weak… wish I prove wrong.
Similarly, there is hardly any discussions around any WSF events at various local mailing lists of NGOs. WSF is only heard of when WSF secretariat sends some information… Pity!