A Travelogue of Women’s World: The Story of «Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies: Alam-e-Niswan»

Tahera Aftab, University of Karachi, Pakistan

A New Journal Is Born: Foundation of «Pakistan Journal of Women’s Studies» («PJWS»)Writing this paper in the year 2019 offers me an opportunity to look back at our story and to share and celebrate it with friends. This year, «PJWS» has completed twenty-five years of publication, and I have entered the twenty-sixth year of my association with its editing, publication, and overall management. Since 2010, we have had an associate editor, Dr. Shehla A. Khan who, like me, works on a voluntary basis. I hope that she will replace me soon.

The first is-sue of «PJWS» came out in July 1994, but that historic moment is as fresh as a sweet scented flower. The excitement and pleasure of holding the first issue of «Alam-e-Niswan» in my hands on July 28, 1994 was like holding your firstborn. Since then, «PJWS» has grown steadily and strongly, setting a role model for other journals, which have learned from it, and further expanded and shared the message of Women’s Studies in Pakistan.For Pakistan in general and for women in Pakistan, the 1980s were testing years. Chauvinism and authoritarianism hit a dangerous point.

As it happens in all periods of history, a small twinkling spark showed the pathway in those dark days of brutality, and suppression and mutilation of human rights. That spark was the establishment of Women’s Studies in 1988–89 as a five-year project at five major universities in Pakistan, the University of Karachi being one of the selected campuses. Prior to the final approval of the project, in frequently held meetings at Islamabad under the direction of a Federal Secretary regarding the aims, objectives and prospects of Women’s Studies, the issue of the lack of relevant teaching resources kept us worried. The gravity of the problem finally led to the inclusion of some important clauses in the PC-1 (project cycle-1), a document which all of us, the founding directors of the five Centres of Excellence for Women’s Studies, were expected to follow and implement.

These clauses were, briefly, that in order to build up a body of knowledge based on lost or forgotten lives of women and to study the roots and structures of inequality that lead to invisibility and exclusion of women from the concepts and methodologies of intellectual inquiry, we must create strategies aimed at empowering women in their struggle against inequality and oppression and at making sure that they effectively participate in all areas of society and development. To achieve these goals, the PC-1, in consultation with the members of the committee which drafted it, agreed to the publication of academic journals under each Centre for the purpose of generating, developing, and disseminating relevant knowledge that would facilitate and assist in procuring teaching resources and strengthening the discipline of Women’s Studies in Pakistan.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.13128/sd-9041

Read Full Text: https://oaj.fupress.net/index.php/sdd/article/view/9041

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