Working for the Arts and Women’s Rights

From Jazbah:

Sabihas2_1 Independent filmmaker, Sabiha Sumar, has earned much acclaim for her films which deal with political and social issues such as the effects of religious fundamentalism on society and especially on women. Sabiha’s documentary ‘For a Place Under the Heavens’ features conversations with women from varying backgrounds. The film steps us through Pakistan’s short history and how each government has contributed to the rise of fundamentalism. Though we hear a lot about women’s oppression, the image of four professional, confident and independent women discussing Pakistani politics and religion conveys an important message: Pakistani women are not all passive and silent. One telling moment is the film is when Sabiha talks to Mufti Nizamuddin who is well respected as a Islamic scholar. He asserts that it is the fault of women that they have been left behind and that they have not demanded their rights, “Islam does not stop women from moving forward. They can come forward and take charge.” When asked if men in Pakistan will be willing to give up power if women were to demand it, he responds, “It would take a revolution. No one relinquishes power easily.”

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