Women artisans keeping dying crafts alive | Pakistan Today

Women artisans keeping dying crafts alive

ISLAMABAD: Women artisans are playing an important role to maintain the identity of cultural heritage of Pakistan and keep alive the dying crafts for the coming generations.

National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage (Lok Virsa) was giving due representation to women artisans from different parts of the country including remote areas with opportunity to display their work and earn respectable livelihood, said Shahira Shahid, Executive Director Lok Virsa at International Women Day Artisans-at-Work exhibition here Friday.

“There is a need to recognize the services of our iconic figures and the young generation can celebrate them by creating awareness about their work.

Today, some crafts are not being continued as they were not transferred to the young generation. There is a need to establish craft institutions in such areas where crafts were losing their identity to give recognition to practitioners of those crafts”, she said.

Zahida Parveen, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, said the purpose of celebrating the International Day for Women is to highlight their services, struggle and achievements.

In Pakistan, women have a position in every field and it has become possible only due to their hard work and constant struggle. The ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Lok Virsa have taken many steps for prosperity of women which include programs to support skilled artistes and craftpersons and such programs would continue in future, she added.

The exhibition of Women Artisans-at-Work celebrated the International Women Day featuring contributions of women in fields of art and craft with an aim to promote Pakistan’s indigenous craft heritage that highlights contribution of women artisans.

Women master artisans in the field of Basketry work, Phulkari, Lungi/Khes weaving and Embroidery work from all provinces, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir demonstrated their artisanship.

The event was arranged to pay tribute to the women artisans who work relentlessly to keep indigenous arts and crafts alive. Lok Virsa has always been in the front row for any initiative that leads to the empowerment of women with special focus on the cultural heritage of Pakistan, said the organizers.

This year’s theme for international women’s day was Balance for Better which is a call-to-action for driving gender balance across the world.

Women have the same cultural rights to enjoy creativity, performing arts, esthetics and means of expression as anyone else in a society.

Through live performances, women singers from different backgrounds presented national and regional songs attiring traditional costumes to represent their provinces.

Craftsperson from KPK Shaista Bibi displayed her traditional embroideries on handmade fabric. “These events are an opportunity to support women and ensure our participation at platforms of national level,” she said.

Expert in Kashmiri embroidery, Yasmeen with display of her unique collection of intricate hand embroideries said this event will encourage women to come up with new ideas and get representation at national level. While more such events for women empowerment must be arranged to support more women, she added.