PAKISTAN - PODA, Action Aid, Lok Virsa


Sameena Nazir - sameena_travel@yahoo.com

Noshaba Arif - noshaba.poda@gmail.com


September 15, 2008


       Invitation - 1st National Conference on World Rural Women Day

        in Pakistan, Wednesday, 15 October 2008 - Islamabad


Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) works for the promotion and protection of human rights of rural communities in Pakistan. We feel very strongly that the important and significant contribution the rural women make to Pakistan should be promoted and recognized. We believe it is necessary to raise awareness at all levels about the critical role that rural women play in Pakistan.


Therefore, we are delighted to announce that PODA is organizing a celebration of World Rural Women Day at national level on October 15th 2008 in Islamabad collaboration with ActionAid and Lok Virsa. I am writing to invite your organization to join us in observing this memorable day in Pakistan.


The World Rural Women day was proclaimed by the United Nations in1995 at the 4th World Conference on Women in Beijing. A year later the United Nations announced 15th October as the World Rural Women Day. Since then every year many countries observe this day nationally. We are organizing a national level conference to observe this day for the first time in Pakistan in a large scale in order to draw the attention of Pakistani policy makers and to highlight the challenges and contributions of Pakistani rural women. At the end of the conference we will present a draft resolution to all the participants to demand that the government should declare October 15th as National Day for Rural Women and also announce a policy addressing the specific needs of rural women in Pakistan.


The 1st National Conference to mark World Rural Women Day in Pakistan will be held at Lok Virsa, a national institute folk heritage in Islamabad. A series of events are being organized by Lok Virsa, PODA and ActionAid representing rural women from all parts of Pakistan. We are anticipating the participation of a large number of Pakistani groups, national and international NGOs, government representatives, policy makers, academia and the media, concerned politicians and international organizations. Following are some of the ways that you can choose to participate in this conference on 15th October, 2008:


1.                  Organizing Partners:

Any Organization that contributes with the starting amount of Rs. 50,000 (Rupees Fifty Thousands) to help with major logistical costs of the event will become an Organizing partner.  The name and logo of the organizing partners will be placed on the event publications and the promotional material, press releases etc.


2.                  Participating Organizations:

Any organization that wants to display its work and products related to rural women, rural development or other related issues can rent a Booth for the whole day at the cost of Rs. 5,000 only. The cost covers one table, two chairs, a booth covering the table and a place to hang your banner, badges, tea and lunch for two staff of your organization during the day.

3.                  Village Organizations:

Any organization that works on rural women issues and is located in a village or small town can participate in this conference free of cost. We will offer a booth free of cost to village based NGOs or community organizations. However, we are NOT able to provide any travel or lodging to village based groups. We will be happy to suggest affordable accommodation and other logistics in Islamabad. Please feel free to contact if you need help with logistics. 


4.                  Rural women activists and women artisans:


We are offering free participation, travel and lodging facilities for village based farmer rights activists women, rural women artisan, craftswoman and/or women folk singers or musicians from villages.  If you know any such artisan from your rural area, please let us know. They will have an opportunity to show their art work and to present their activist agenda. There are limited seats available for this category so please let us know at your earliest if you can nominate any rural woman activist or artisan.


Please note that the last date for confirmation of participation is 30th September 2008.


All booths/display tables will be provided on First Come First Basis. Therefore, please let us know soon.


Please find attached a draft program of the 1st National Conference on World Rural Women Day. Please feel free to give us your suggestions and comments on this draft Program agenda as it is still being finalized. We look forward to your suggestions for panel speakers also.


Thank you for your attention to this letter. We look forward to working with you and making the 1st  National Conference on World Rural Women Day a truly memorable event in Pakistan this year.




Sameena Nazir

Director - PODA







To Celebrate October 15, World Rural Women’s Day



Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) works for the rights of rural communities in Pakistan. A major focus of our work is the promotion and protection of the human rights of rural women. Every year PODA organizes events on October 15th to mark world rural women’s day. We are planning to hold events on October 15th, 2008 in Islamabad and to create a bigger impact this year we are seeking partners from NGOs and international organizations to join us. The objectives for observing October 15th in Pakistan are the following:


1.      To create awareness about World Rural Women’s Day and highlight its significance.

2.      To share information about how World Rural Women’s Day is celebrated in other countries and about how many countries have made it a national day.

3.      To acknowledge the hard work of rural women in Pakistan.

4.      To recognize rural women’s contribution to food security in Pakistan.

5.      To demand better services, access to basic human rights including land rights and protection from violence for rural women.

6.      To demand that the government of Pakistan declares October 15th a national day for rural women in Pakistan and to make a statement to this effect.

7.      To demand that the government of Pakistan should adopt a policy for the rights of rural women and recognize their contributions to the national economy.


We look forward to your partnership and hope to make October 15th, 2008

 a memorable day for the rights of rural women in Pakistan.





For more information please contact: Noshaba Arif, Program Development Manager at PODA.

Ph: (051) 486-2460 – Cell: 0321-500-3858 – Email: noshaba.poda@gmail.com


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