KCF Workshop on Gender Equality

Kaarvan Crafts Foundation (KCF) working for economic empowerment of women in living in remote villages of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; held commemorative workshop at its Gujranwala Training Centre in connection with International Women’s Day.
The aim of the workshop was two fold: first, to honor and celebrate the resilience of Kaarvan’s Trainees in overcoming personal/ structural/ cultural barriers in their life, second, to raise self-awareness on gender and its impact/ implications of cultural norms. Through interactive activities of card game, renaming objects and measuring silence — highlight the paradoxical nature of gender and how it both presents opportunities and limitations to personal growth at the same time.
Themes of equality, culture, human rights, dignity and integrity from a gendered perspective were brought to the forefront through Kaarvan’s creation of empathy card game. Female trainee’s responded to the open-ended question prompts. One trainee beautiful articulated that woman is the embodiment of love; whether she is a mother or sister she takes care of everyone from her younger brother to guests. This brings to the front that there exist multiple truths — reality is contingent on our individual experiences. There is a tendency to generalize based on personal experiences.
From the card game, facilitators transitioned to renaming object activity where trainees were asked to imagine a rolled up paper as something else. The prompt was “This is not a stick it is…” what? A toothbrush. A candle. A tube-light. A henna cone. The idea was to showcase our vest powers to rename, to innovate and think outside of the box.
In last activity trainees were asked to study the photographs hung around their classroom and think about their level of speech or participation on the images displayed by placing color sticker as indicator — silence, some say and complete freedom. It is nice to see that there were many green dots or freedom of speech on the topic of education and marriage in villages. Through this interactive workshop Kaarvan has began a discourse on gender, power and privilege with its Trainees in hopes that it empowers them to think and decide — craft their livelihoods.

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