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Activism

ASR believes that action cannot be divorced from theory and activism is an important and indispensable element for social transformation. Consequently advocacy and activism are an integral part of ASR’s holistic approach to all aspects of development work. The nature of this activity takes different forms but includes creating public opinion and sensitising people on issues related to class, identity, poverty, hunger, women and on people based development.

ASR workers are also active members of several other organisations particularly the Joint Action Committee, various peace committees, human rights initiatives, youth forums, cultural and literary forums and those upholding and supporting women’s rights activism.

ASR has taken up the issue of the Family Laws Ordinance of 1961 for advocacy and has visited all the four provinces of Pakistan to spread awareness and inform people about the consequences caused by the Federal Shariat Court decision. According to this decision, the court had directed the president of Pakistan to take steps to amend the Muslim Family Laws Ordinance of 1961 to bring it in conformity with Islam. Activists all over Pakistan feel that with this decision women shall cease to have even some of the few legislative provisions of their rights that they had in the past.

Networking, campaigns, advocacy and activism continue to dominate the activities of ASR. In its individual capacity, as a member of the Joint Action Committee and as part of the movement for equality, Justice and democracy in Pakistan, ASR has been in the forefront in trying to mobilise the public to struggle for a Just and equitable Pakistan. It has also consistently struggled against all oppression’s and exploitation, and for women’s, human and minority rights. The issue over the past years included taking stand against the nuclear issue; militarization of society; the 15th amendment; violence against women; violence against minority (religious, ethnic, linguistic and national); and economic decisions that are, or will lead to farther poverty and deprivation. The activities caused the government of Punjab to single out ASR and the Institute of women’s Studies, as a subversive organisation. IWSL was changed for being `anti state’; `anti government’; `anti Islam’; pro Jewism and Hindu’; `leading women’ etc. The Minister of Social Welfare ran a vilification campaign in the press.