The following report was provided by OBR activists from Karachi, Pakistan:

“An activist is someone who cannot help but fight for something. That person is not usually motivated by a need for power or money or fame, but in fact is driven slightly mad by some ingested injustice, some cruelty, some unfairness, so much so that he or she is compelled by some internal more engine to act to make it better.” -Eve Ensler     

These words have inspired the students  of Karachi Grammar School to voice our beliefs and bring about a revolutionary change in our community, country and hopefully the world. 

Growing up in a community laden with discrimination and intolerance against women, we are grateful to be a part of a progressive institution where both the sexes are given equal importance, attention and opportunities. This has empowered us, instilling in us a desire to share our confidence with the downtrodden and distraught women in our society. As the future of Pakistan, we have been contemplating of ways to spread awareness about the physical and mental brutalities women are subjected to all across the world ,especially in Pakistan. We have been on a journey to take an impactful stand against the cruelties and bigotry left unhandled in our community, for quite a while now. During this time, we stumbled upon the One Billion Rising campaign that has been steadily growing over the past three years, igniting women from over 200 countries to form a powerful union, fighting for their rights.Holding humanitarian beliefs, we would like the women of Karachi to be a part of this movement as well.

As seen in the headlines, Pakistan faces innumerable issues mostly consisting of false religous and cultural views clashing with the modernized feminist views, held by the educated elite. This brings with it widespread criticism and violence, the products of intolerant extremists. Therefore, we need to educate our civilians and warn them about the consequences if this change does not take place. Including both the sexes in this movement is imperative, if the change is to be sempiternal, which is why our team consists of both girls and boys.

Many steps have been taken to empower women by Pakistani role models such as Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, who documented the inhumanity that is acid attacks, and  Human Rights activist Sabeen Mahmud (late), who were both educated in the red brick buildings of Karachi Grammar School. Our school has made many efforts in identifying and alerting it’s students of possible solutions. The Empowerment Society has played a crucial role in this, by organising programs in which inspirational individuals have been sought out to come and speak to the students, rousing them. Pakistani UN Goodwill Ambassador Muniba Mazari has been called to encourage the students to empower themselves and those around them. 

If Pakistan’s biggest cities such as Karachi, Lahore and Islambad are further involved in this rising campaign we can certainly help others to realise the importance of regarding individuals as human beings, not as the members of a particular sex,caste, social class or religion.

The members of the Empowerment Society aim to make the first steps in launching this campaign at our school on 13 February 2016, creating awareness by putting up posters throughout the school. We also intend to have a special assembly to discuss this movement with the rest of the school. Students will actively share pictures, videos and statuses on social media regarding this campaign so as to further create awareness. This will be the first step of many to rise against oppression towards women.