Literature has served as a catalyst for societal change throughout the ages. It acts as a forum for open discussion on significant topics, such as social justice, education, gender equality, and healthcare. This festival will help spread awareness and encourage action for positive change by providing a secure and welcoming environment for these discussions.
Dosti Peshawar Women's Literature Festival is being organized by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University in collaboration with Dosti Welfare Organization in November 2023. This is an attempt to offer a glimpse of optimism in a world where women's stories have traditionally been marginalised.
In developed societies of the world, women can freely express themselves via writing without any fear of censorship or prejudice. By giving women a secure and encouraging place to express their tales, the First Dosti Peshawar Women Literature Festival may contribute to the literary creations of this world.
This festival will be a pioneering venue where the literary and artistic accomplishments of women are celebrated. By giving women a forum to tell their stories and by dispelling preconceptions about women, Dosti Peshawar Women Literature Festival may help bring this goal to life and prove as a catalyst of change.
Such a festival can provide a platform for honouring the views, experiences, and contributions of women in an area where their viewpoints have frequently been undervalued. From 2021 it will be the third festival generally and the first women’s literature festival conducted in Peshawar as a catalyst for empowerment, transformation, and a critical paradigm shift.
“The Women's Literature Festival in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is not just a literary gathering; it's a celebration of diversity and expression. Literature has the incredible ability to amplify unheard voices and provide a space for marginalised narratives to be told. This festival goes beyond mere literary discussions; it is a testament to the resilience and creativity of women who have navigated through various challenges to make their voices heard,” said Miss Hina Bahadar, Lecturer at Department of History and Pakistan Studies Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University.
Peshawar the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has legendary literary institutions and personalities who are working just to promote love for wisdom and book reading amongst the young generation.
Dosti Welfare Organization (a non-profit entity) first introduced the concept in 2022 by starting the first literature festival in KPK. It was extended in February 2023 when it organised a second round to give more exposure to the new generation in a time of hopelessness due to economic and political instability of the state.
Dr Antal Zia, a distinguished writer from KPK, expressed her enthusiasm about the event: "The Women's Literature Festival is a long-overdue initiative that recognises the invaluable contributions of women writers to our cultural heritage. It not only provides a platform for sharing our work but also encourages young women to pursue their literary passions."
The festival is essential in eliminating preconceptions that have fueled regional gender disparity and constrained women's aspirations. The event dismantles obstacles that have limited women's participation in the public arena by giving female writers, poets, artists, and intellectuals a forum. It effectively dispels stereotypes about the roles and capacities of women by showcasing their academic prowess and artistic talents.
The Women's Literature Festival's potential to motivate the future generation is one of its most significant features. Young girls and women are more inclined to dream big and work hard for their objectives when they see successful and empowered role models share their experiences and accomplishments. Such an event encourages young minds to pursue education, occupations, and passions without boundaries and offers concrete evidence that options are growing.
This Women's Literature Festival will represent a significant step towards inclusivity in the area. Rewriting the history of women's roles and contributions to society is a collective effort. It will strongly convey the message that women's voices are not only legitimate but also necessary for a harmonious and prosperous community.
Our society is gradually recognising the importance of gender equality and women's empowerment and this Women's Literature Festival will serve as a symbol of progress. It will provide an opportunity to celebrate the richness of women's experiences, challenges conventional norms and ultimately pave the way for a more equitable future.