Lok Virsa launched Dr Fouzia Saeed’s latest book ‘Working with Sharks’ in Islamabad as part of their five-day Women’s Week Festival.
Dr Fouzia Saeed is acclaimed as a brave social activist having raised thorny issues. Her book ‘Taboo’ had provoked a national debate on women's morality while her previous book ‘Forgotten Faces’ brought to light the paradox of fame and stigma faced by the female stars of Pakistan's folk theatre.
Her booklet and video ‘Women in Bondage’ had exposed the conditions of women living in interior Sindh while she also edited a collection of articles on Violence Against Women in 1990 when such issues were not openly discussed.
‘Working with Sharks’ deals with her personal experiences as a working woman in Pakistan and how she countered the unpleasant circumstances that come with it.
Lok Virsa’s Executive Director, Khalid Javaid, praising Dr Fouzia Saeed’s work, disclosed that the painting competition’s main purpose was to bring young girls together to paint and create awareness on themes of ‘women’s empowerment’ and ‘harassment of women at work’.
Famous artist Jamal Shah, who was the chief guest, lauded the paintings hanging all around the hall, conceding that many of them depicted our patriarchal social attitude and the extreme level of intolerance towards females, especially at work.
He was presented a copy of the book by the author, who later distributed shields to the winners of the painting exhibition in which 55 students took part and those belonging to Fatima Jinnah University having lion’s share in the prizes.
Dr Fouzia Saeed, after having earned her PhD from the University of Minnesota, USA, returned to Pakistan to pursue a career in social change. She has worked for the United Nations and other international development organizations. Her main identity remains her activist work on women's issues, social justice and democracy. She is currently the Director of Mehergarh, a human rights institute.