Pakistani Women Visit Pasadena for U.S. State Department-Funded Cultural Forum

Published : Monday, July 18, 2016 | 4:52 AM

Image: Jennifer Hall Lee website

Eight Pakistani women visiting Los Angeles County for a women’s empowerment trip and cultural exchange funded by the U.S. State Department will be in Pasadena on Thursday, July 21, to take part in a panel discussion about “Creating Urban Green Spaces: From California to Islamabad.”

The Pasadena panel discussion, which will be held at the Cottonwood Canyon wildlife corridor at 1951 Linda Vista Avenue, is the last of five forums for the visiting women in Los Angeles.

Other discussions held at other locations in the county were centered on U.S. and Pakistani relations, the images of women in U.S. and Pakistani media, religion and peace, and post-feminist women’s fashion.

The series of panel discussions are on the theme “Consciousness Raising of Pakistani Women on Contemporary Academic and Social Issues 2016.”

Altadena-based filmmaker and writer Jennifer Hall Lee is the U.S. coordinator for the Pakistani women’s visit, funded by the U.S. State Department. In 2013, Lee brought her film “Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation” to Islamabad and Rawalpindi in Pakistan and has since been involved in organizing the visit.

The eight women are members of the Critical Thinking Forum from the International Islamic University in Islamabad who have been here since July 7.  The students are Muslims and are working on women’s empowerment in Pakistan. Lee says they are here to share their culture with women’s groups and organizations in order to foster dialogue between the U.S. and Pakistan.

“The trip is important because it is a good opportunity for Pakistani women to have share social experience,” says Dr. Munazza Yaqoob, Project Director and founder of the CTF. “They can discover common grounds through discussion and dialogue with American women and civil society.”

Lee says the trip “will be revealing because we often accept media representations of women as truth.”

Lee’s “Feminist: Stories from Women’s Liberation” was made while she worked full time in the film industry and started before she became a mother for the first time. The film won “Best of the Fest for Documentary” at the Los Angeles Women’s International Film Festival.

In 2013, Lee was appointed as one of the five Ambassadors for the Global Media Monitoring Project.

Thursday’s discussion will be from 4 to 5:30 p.m. For more information about the panel discussions, visit www.jenniferhalllee.com/from-islamabad-to-los-angeles.

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