Academia Magazine


The Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Chair (SMBBC) established at the University of Karachi (UoK) arranged a seminar on International Women’s Day 2023 entitled “Women’s Empowerment: Vision of Shaheed Mohtarma Benzair Bhutto”, at the Karachi University Business School Auditorium on Wednesday.

The former chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah was the chief guest on this occasion while the former provincial minister Senator Sassui Palijo and the advisor to the CM Sindh Sharmila Faruqui were the guest speakers.

The ex-CM Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah observed that women are equal to men, and they should be aware of their rights. He urged that women must make full use of the legislation regarding women’s rights.

He said that nowadays women can be seen in almost every field including education and health sectors and the trend that shows that women are now more interested in getting a higher education is a very good sign.

He further said that despite the current economic situation of Pakistan, people are forced to get expensive electricity, and the past and present federal governments are not utilizing coal discover in Thar, which could be used to produce a cheap power supply.

“If a proper investment is made, enough electricity can be generated from coal and oil present in Sindh, and after fulfilling the needs, the government can export them to other countries.”

Syed Qaim Ali Shah mentioned that Benazir Bhutto faced countless problems and difficulties but did not leave behind her belief in democracy. He advised that young scholars should do research on the personality of the first prime minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto and expressed that he hopes that KU SMBBC will promote research on the personality and political life of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto.

Meanwhile, Sindh Minister of Labor and Manpower Saeed Ghani said that Benazir Bhutto was not only the pride of Pakistan but also the pride of the Muslim world. She was the first woman prime minister of the Muslim world.

He shared that Benazir Bhutto faced hardships while she was struggling for the restoration of democracy in the country and fatwas were also issued against her but she did not step back and kept fighting for the restoration of democracy for 25 long years.

Saeed Ghani said that Benazir Bhutto was the vocal voice in a male-dominated society, and added that she launched different programs for Pakistani females. “BB also started a lady health workers program to create health awareness among women. To empower women on women’s issues, First Women Bank was created which is a quality institution that is playing important role in financial support and empowerment of women.”

On this occasion, the KU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood Iraqi said that women should not be confined to homes but should play their role in the development of society. He advised that to empower women, they should be given access to technology along with education. “A man’s education is only an individual’s education, but educating a woman is actually equal to educating the whole family.”

Dr Khalid Iraqi said that an educated and knowledgeable woman can raise her children well and can play an important role in the development of the country. He acknowledged that women are now playing a significant role in various fields along with fulfilling their traditional responsibilities.

He mentioned that the development of any country depends on its manpower and when it comes to manpower, it should be taken into account that almost half of the country’s population consists of women. Benazir Bhutto is a role model for Pakistani women. Her entire life is a role model not only for the people of Pakistan but also for the whole world. There are many leaders who become a part of history while there are some leaders who make history and Benazir Bhutto is counted among those personalities who made history.

The KU VC mentioned that the University of Karachi also has a Church and a Mandir as it respects all religions and provides space for minorities to freely worship and practice their religion.

Another speaker, Senator Sassui Palijo said that Benazir Bhutto was a great visionary leader and an inspiring torchbearer for women not only in Pakistan but also around the world. She mentioned that Benazir Bhutto continued to fight for women’s rights until her last breath. Senator Sassui Palijo shared that Benazir Bhutto took practical steps along with legislation for women’s rights, and set examples for others to follow.

Sharmila Faruqui said that Benazir Bhutto fought against every negative-thinking person who wanted to push women back. She lauded the work done by our mothers, sisters, and daughters for the construction and development of Pakistan since the Pakistan Movement.

She believes that if men and women do not walk together in society, then it cannot be developed and there will be anxiety and unrest in society. We have to stand firm and raise our voices for our rights. Benazir Bhutto thought that we should take women forward. We have to carry forward her thoughts.

Earlier, the Director UoK SMBBC Muhammad Ibrahim Shaikh while presenting the welcome speech share details about the activities of the Chair named after Benazir Bhutto.

Related: Panel discussion at UoK demands end to gender discrimination

A panel discussion was organized by teachers under the banner “Tu apnay aanchal say aik parcham bana layti to accha tha” at the History Department of Karachi University (UoK) with respect to women’s day to end the gender discrimination.

 The title of the program was Aurat, Masail aur Huqooq. The panel consisted of Sheema Kirmani, Dr Hina Khan In-Charge History Department, Dr Erum Muzzafar In-Charge Pakistan Study Centre, Dr Sadaf Ahmed Director, Centre of Health and Wellbeing, and Dr Zakia Rani from the Urdu Department. The discussion centred around the problems women face in Pakistani society based on their gender.

At the beginning of the program Sheema Kirmani spoke about the different aspects in which women are repressed by a patriarchal society. She emphasized on the intersectional understanding of this repression. A daily wage worker, a domestic help, a forcibly converted Hindu girl, for instance, are more repressed in Pakistani patriarchal society. She argued that a gendered analysis of class, religion and other differences provides a nuanced understanding of women’s problems.

Dr Hina Khan spoke on the importance of women’s resistance movements in Pakistan’s history. She emphasized how women who participated in the struggle for independence had to demand equal social and political space from their male fellows/counterparts after partition. She also spoke on the hardships women had to face in Zia’s dictatorship, and how women’s resistance in the form of Women Action Forum (WAF) arose as a force against this repression.

Speaking on the relationship of environment and women issues, Dr Erum Muzzafar drew a parallel between the capitalist exploitation of land and the capitalist exploitation of women. She argued that the capitalist system has on the one hand commodified the land. In the name of development land is exploited and is being continuously robbed of its natural habitat. Likewise, a woman is also made a commodity, her own nature has been repressed for the benefit of the system.

Dr Sadaf Ahmed spoke on the challenges of basic health women face in our society. From maternity care to postpartum depression her struggles are enormous and oftentimes unnoticed. Due to diverse health issues women are under constant neurophysiological stress, hence they are unable to live a healthy life. A better society must understand these challenges and work towards the physically and mentally healthy individual.

Dr Zakia Rani emphasized on the role of women writers in Urdu literature. She stressed that though women have been depicted by male writers, and in a positive way, but male writers lack the complexity which female voice has. A female voice comes from a privileged perspective of women’s lived experiences.

She also said that there had been double standards for women and men in Urdu literature. What was permissible for a male writer was considered abominable for a woman writer. Women writers had to go through a long struggle against these forces. Some of the writers who broke these walls were Quratulain Haider, Ismat Chughtai, Ada Jaffery, Kishwar Naheed, Fahima Riaz among others. Tanveer Anjum and Dr Uzma Farman also spoke on the struggles of women writers and poets in Urdu literature.

Related: UoK, Russian delegation discuss cooperation, bilateral program

On the occasion of World’s Women Day the Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Pakistan organised a Women’s Day Carnival at Bilawal stadium, Hamdard Public School, where different fun filled activities were organized for the women staff members of Hamdard group including cricket matches, badminton, balloon shooting, arm wrestling, tug of war, carrom, camel riding, dart game and volleyball matches.

The President of Hamdard Foundation Pakistan, Ms Sadia Rashid graced the event as Chief Guest along with Dr Ahsana Dar – Dean Faculty of Eastern Medicine, Hamdard University while Prof Malahat Kaleem Sherwani Director Bait al-Hikmah, faculty members Prof Dr Shamim Akhter dean faculty of Pharmacy, M. S. Kausar coordinator to Vice-Chancellor HU and other staff members were also present on the occasion.

While praising the performance of women athletes, Ms Sadia Rashid remarked that in Islam, women are endowed with all the fundamental rights that are not granted to them in any other society. She further stated that the women in our community possess a wide range of talents and capabilities and can achieve great feats provided they are given positive opportunities.

In the Hamdard Premier League Women’s Day Special, Cricket teams of Hamdard Public School, Hamdard Laboratories (Waqf) Pakistan, Hamdard University staff and Hamdard University students played friendly matches with each other. Where Hamdard University students won the tournament and Hamdard Public School stood runner up.

President Hamdard Foundation Pakistan Ms. Sadia Rashid distributed the trophies amongst the players.

Related: Hamdard University awards 1212 degrees in its 25th Convocation

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed between the Pakistan Biological Safety Association (PBSA) and the University of Gwadar on 6th March 2023 at the University of Gwadar to promote academic and scientific and biological research between the two institutions.

Dolat Khan, Registrar University of Gwadar, and Prof Dr Saeed Khan, President PBSA signed the agreement during his visit to Gwadar University.

According to the document, both parties agreed to jointly conduct biosafety and biosecurity training workshops. The PBSA will facilitate and provide opportunities for the University of Gwadar’s faculty members for participating in activities regarding  the International Federation of Biosafety Associations (IFBA) certification exam.

PSO to Vice Chancellor Gwadar University Rahmatullah, Assistant Registrar, Abdul Majid, and administrators were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, a three days workshop on “Biosafety and Biosecurity Practices: Emphasis on Personal Safety of a Lab Biologist” organized by the Pakistan Biological Safety Association in collaboration with the University of Gwadar has been launched on 5th March 2023. President PBSA Prof Dr Saeed Khan leads the workshop on biological Safety and good practices.

Related: Gwadar University approved retirement plans & health allowances

There is an ample amount of data available to suggest that children with severe childhood traumas often have more chances to fall into destructive behaviors, like addiction, self-harm, substance abuse, etc. There can be different forms of childhood traumas that children may encounter during their formative years. Loss of a parent, absence of a parent, loss of a sibling, physical or emotional abuse, or in extreme cases, sexual abuse. Childhood trauma is a serious issue that can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s emotional well-being. Gabor Mate, a renowned Canadian physician, has extensively studied the impact of childhood trauma on mental health. According to him, childhood trauma can have a profound effect on an individual’s emotional development, leading to a range of mental health problems in adulthood.

Mate argues that childhood trauma can impact the emotional well-being of an adult in several ways. Firstly, it can lead to the development of negative self-beliefs, such as a belief that they are unlovable or unworthy of affection. This can lead to feelings of shame, guilt, and low self-esteem, which can manifest in a range of mental health problems, such as depression and anxiety.

Secondly, childhood trauma can lead to the development of maladaptive coping strategies. This may include substance abuse, self-harm, and other destructive behaviors, which are used as a means of numbing emotional pain or coping with feelings of distress. These coping mechanisms can become ingrained in an individual’s psyche, making it difficult to break free from them and leading to a cycle of addiction and emotional distress.

Thirdly, childhood trauma can impact an individual’s ability to form healthy relationships. Mate argues that early experiences of neglect, abandonment, or abuse can make it difficult for an individual to trust others and form secure attachments. This can lead to a range of relationship problems, including difficulty with intimacy, fear of abandonment, and a tendency to repeat dysfunctional patterns of behavior.

Fourthly, childhood trauma can impact an individual’s ability to regulate their emotions. Mate suggests that childhood trauma can lead to a dysregulation of the stress response system, resulting in a chronic state of hypervigilance and heightened emotional reactivity. This can make it difficult for individuals to regulate their emotions and respond appropriately to stressors, leading to a range of mental health problems such as anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Finally, childhood trauma can impact an individual’s ability to connect with their authentic selves. According to Mate, childhood trauma can result in a disconnection from one’s emotions and a sense of disconnection from one’s true self. This can result in a sense of emptiness, and a feeling of being disconnected from oneself and others.

Healing from Childhood Trauma: Meeting with your Authentic Self

Childhood trauma is a significant and widespread issue that can have long-lasting effects on an individual’s mental health and physical well-being. It can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, or sexual abuse, neglect, abandonment, or growing up in a dysfunctional family environment. Coping with the aftermath of trauma can be challenging, but it is possible to heal with the help of professionals.

Dr Nicole LePera, a licensed clinical psychologist, and Dr Gabor Mate, a physician specializing in addiction, stress, and childhood trauma, have both dedicated their careers to helping individuals heal from childhood trauma. Their approaches share several similarities, but they also have some unique perspectives and techniques.

Here are some key insights from Dr LePera and Dr Mate on how to heal from childhood trauma:

Recognize the effects of trauma on your mind and body

One of the first steps to healing from childhood trauma is recognizing how it has affected you. Dr Mate emphasizes that childhood trauma can create changes in the brain and the body that can lead to physical and mental health issues later in life. For example, trauma can activate the body’s stress response system, leading to chronic inflammation, weakened immunity, and increased risk of developing chronic illnesses.

Dr LePera notes that trauma can also impact the way you think and feel, leading to negative self-talk, low self-esteem, and emotional dysregulation. Recognizing these effects is an essential first step towards healing.

Develop self-awareness

Developing self-awareness is a critical component of healing from childhood trauma. According to Dr. LePera, self-awareness involves understanding your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and how they relate to your past experiences. It requires a willingness to look inward and examine your patterns of behavior and beliefs.

Dr Mate emphasizes that self-awareness also involves understanding your coping mechanisms and how they may be linked to your childhood trauma. For example, some people may turn to drugs or alcohol to cope with the pain, while others may engage in self-harm or other destructive behaviors.

Practice self-compassion

Practicing self-compassion is another key aspect of healing from childhood trauma. According to Dr LePera, self-compassion involves treating yourself with kindness, understanding, and forgiveness. It means acknowledging that the trauma you experienced was not your fault and that you are worthy of love and care. Dr Mate notes that self-compassion also involves accepting your emotions and giving yourself permission to feel them. For example, if you feel angry or sad about your past experiences, it is essential to allow yourself to experience these emotions rather than pushing them away.

Build a supportive community

Building a supportive community is an essential part of healing from childhood trauma. Dr LePera emphasizes that having a supportive network of friends and family can help you feel less isolated and provide you with the emotional support you need. Dr Mate notes that building a community can also involve finding a therapist or support group that specializes in working with individuals who have experienced childhood trauma. These professionals can provide you with the tools and resources you need to heal and thrive.

Engage in self-care practices

Engaging in self-care practices is another critical component of healing from childhood trauma. Dr LePera emphasizes that self-care involves engaging in activities that nourish your mind, body, and soul. This can include things like exercise, meditation, journaling, or spending time in nature. Dr Mate notes that self-care also involves taking care of your physical health by eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and avoiding drugs and alcohol. These practices can help reduce inflammation, improve immune function, and promote overall well-being.

Related: The Impact of Bullying on Students’ Wellbeing

President Dr Arif Alvi said on Monday that education, health, welfare and women empowerment were the most important factors for a proper growth of any society. Arif Alvi said this while visiting the department of special needs in the University of Management & Technology (UMT) here. First Lady Samina Alvi also accompanied the president.

Giving an example of China, the President said that China had made enormous progress through improving its education and health sectors. It was very unfortunate that there were almost more than 20 million out of school children in Pakistan and it was need of the hour to enroll them, he added.

He said it was highly important to promote the concept of inclusion in society. “If we look around, almost every family has a child who was deprived of any one of the five basic senses”, he observed.

Dr Arif Alvi said there was a need to change attitudes of the society towards differently-abled persons and jobs should be created to match their abilities. He said, “Time is coming when no nation can make progress without ensuring inclusiveness in its society.” He said, “Only 9 percent of our F.Sc. students go to universities and some 18 to 20 per cent students go up to intermediate level which is not a good percentage at all.” With rapid advancement in technology, the world was changing as there were a lot of mobile applications which were very helpful for people with disabilities, he said.

He further said, “The country has a lot of potential, adding that it is of utmost importance for the country not to deviate from its priorities.” Dr Arif Alvi said that inflation was the biggest challenge and it was in dire need to control it in the larger interest of people.

President UMT Ibrahim Hassan Murad and Prof Dr Abdul Hameed also spoke on the occasion.  Later, President Dr Arif Alvi and First Lady Samina Alvi witnessed different projects of the differently-abled students and also interacted with them.

The students also briefed the President and First Lady about their research work.

Related: UMT Career Fair 2023 Calls Together 124 Companies

Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) has announced a research grant to support scientists and researchers in developing and commercialization of products in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, Nanotechnology, Material and Artificial Intelligence under the Competitive Research Programme.

Scientists, engineers, technologists, innovators, academia and entrepreneurs from Research and Development (R&D) institutions, HEC-recognized universities and industries who have already completed the first stage of research and development work and need financial support for the utilization of their research outcomes to develop new products, prototypes, pilot-scale production and commercialization can apply for the grant, an official of PSF informed.

Besides, the “lone” innovators / start-ups or Small and Medium Enterprises have launched a new product, technology, technique, or process and want to bring value addition or improvement alone or in partnership with scientists, technologists and academic R&D institutes and HEC-recognized universities are also encouraged to apply.

The grants are available for a period of up to two years in the streams including individual researchers/lone innovators/start-ups (up to 10 million budget), consortium research groups (multidisciplinary research groups up to 20 million budget), and Triple Helix model (collaborative research projects between academia, R&D organizations, and industry up to 20 million budget).

This funding opportunity aims to promote the utilization of R&D outcomes in economic development through export push and import substitution while saving foreign exchange in Pakistan.

Scientists, engineers, technologists, innovators, academia, lone innovators and entrepreneurs from R&D institutes, HEC-recognized universities and industry, start-ups, or SMEs.

The Principal Investigator should be from an HEC-recognized University or a public sector R&D organization/ private industry/start-up/SME that can be taken on board for pilot scale or commercial trials, production and marketing activities.

About the nature of the projects, the official informed that the duration for the execution or completion of the project will be a maximum of up to 2 years with a maximum funding limit of up to Rs. 20.00 Million (Rs. 10 Million for Individual Researchers), the official said.

The Competitive Research Grants will be provided for the Creation of new knowledge through patents, technology transfer and publications, development of new processes, products, prototypes or applications through indigenous skills, and value addition in the existing products/prototypes/ processes according to the needs of the economy and Pilot Plant Studies.

The concept proposals must be submitted online and can be accessed via the PSF website. The foundation only accepts Concept Paper submissions through the RGMS online web portal.

The Government College University (GCU) Lahore has recently launched a Mega Plantation Drive 2023 on its new 400-acre campus, with the aim of planting 38,000 trees. The initiative is being led by the Horticulture Society of GCU and was inaugurated by the Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi, along with students.

The event was attended by Dr Kanwal Nazim, the President of the Society for Environment and Mangrove Protection (SEMP), who donated plants to GCU as part of the plantation drive. Speaking at the event, Prof Zaidi emphasized the importance of the initiative for environmental sustainability and the aesthetic value of the new campus.

The Vice-Chancellor highlighted that indigenous plants of fruits, such as Orange and Guava, are being planted to create a full eco-system. He also mentioned that the plantation would attract more birds to the campus. Prof Zaidi expressed his gratitude to GCU alumni and environmental organizations for joining the university in this plantation drive.

The event was attended by faculty members, students, and members of the community who expressed their support for the initiative.

They appreciated that the Mega Plantation Drive 2023 is a positive step towards promoting afforestation, environmental conservation, and sustainability. It is expected to enhance the beauty of the campus and contribute to a healthier environment.

Related: GCU establishes Department of Translation Studies

Punjab University (PU) Department of Film and Broadcasting has organized a seminar on ‘Media and Public Health’ in Hameed Nizami Hall.

On this occasion, Provincial Minister for Primary and Secondary Health Dr Jamal Nasir, PU VC Prof Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar, CEO Health Department Dr Shoaib Garmani, Dean Faculty of Information Management and Media Studies Prof Dr Khalid Mahmood, Director School of Communication Sciences Prof Dr Noshina Saleem, Chairperson Department of Film and Broadcasting Prof Dr Lubna Zaheer, faculty members and students were present.

In his speech, Dr Nasir Jamal said that the media needs to play an active role in eradicating diseases. He said that politics is being discussed on TV channels every evening, but no one talks about the problems of the poor. He said that if the problems and diseases of the poor were not discussed in the media, the problems would not be solved. He said that the work of doctors was to inspire against diseases on TV and 90 percent of diseases were preventable with precautionary measures.

He said that the Muslims ruled the world as long as they gave priority to knowledge. He said that there was a huge hue and cry when Covid 19 attacked the rich but there is no discussion about the diseases from which millions of the poor people are dying. He said that nobody cares about hepatitis, diarrhea and pneumonia and other such diseases from which the poor people were suffering. He said that ideal hospitals could have been built with the money wasted on COVID 19 testing.

Dr Niaz said that the caretaker government was doing excellent work despite limited resources. He appreciated the role of Dr Jamal Nasir in solving the problems of the health sector. He congratulated Dr Lubna Zaheer for organizing the awareness program and medical camp. Dr Khalid Mahmood said that media students would play a role in solving health problems.

Dr Lubna Zaheer announced a film competition to highlight health issues. She said that media students would play their role in disease prevention as awareness could be created through media to solve health problems.

Related: PU CEMB holds conference on changing trends in Health Sciences

A delegation of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) led by its Vice-Chancellor (VC), Dr Nasir Mehmood called on Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sindh Rural Support Organization (SRSO), Muhammad Dital Khalhoro at his office on Friday and discussed rural development, women empowerment and skill trainings.

The CEO told about establishment, objectives, governance structure and the projects of SRSO. He said SRSO’s main approach was social mobilisation of the poor in order to get them directly involved in decisions which affect their lives and prospects.

Talking about SRSO’s Institute Of Management And Skill Development (IMSD), he said it takes on the results works towards poverty alleviation and pursues this objective by providing capacity development opportunities through formal training, on-job technical training, and experience sharing seminars workshops and conferences, both for the community members as well as the staff, while following full training cycle management protocols according to needs.

Vice-Chancellor, Dr Nasir Mehmood appreciated efforts of SRSO in poverty reduction and transformation of lives of rural communities, especially women. The CEO Mr Kalhoro also appreciated the contribution of the AIOU in promotion of education and reaching out to marginalised communities.

Later, the delegation also visited Sartyoon Sang Crafts outlet where they were decorated by traditional Ajraks.

Related: AIOU Center of Excellence for Early Childhood Development