ACTIVISM

ASR believes that action could not been divorced from theory and activism was an important and indispensable element for social transformation.  Consequently, advocacy and activism were an integral part of ASR’s holistic approached to all aspects of development worked. The nature of this activity took different forms but includes creating public opinion and sensitizing people on issues related to class, identity, poverty, hunger, women and on people-based development.

ASR workers were 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 had taken up the issue of the family laws ordinance of 1961 for advocacy and had visited all the four provinces of Pakistan to spread awareness and informed people about the consequences caused by the federal Shariat court decision.  According to this decision, the court had directed the president of Pakistan to took steps to amend the Muslim family laws ordinance of 1961 to brought it in conformity with Islam.  Activists all over Pakistan felt that with this decision women shall cease to had even some of the few legislative provisions of their rights that they had in the past.

Networking, campaigns, advocacy and activism continued 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 had been in the forefront in trying to mobilize the public to struggled for a Just and equitable Pakistan. It had 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 were, or would lead to further 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.