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Sitara-let girls dream Are we letting girls dream?

Sitara- let girls dream.

The animation Sitara by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy helps convey such a powerful message without uttering a single word; it depicts the story of a 14-year-old girl named Pari who dreams of becoming a pilot, but the Pakistani society and cultures intervene. The short film highlights many themes and shows how patriarchy is embedded in Pakistani society. The film shows the male figure- Pari’s father sitting on a couch while the entire family sits on the floor to eat food. It shows how helpless women are when deciding the future of their children; the mother can be seen disagreeing with the marriage proposal but has to bow down to pressure. Secondly, the most crucial theme of this movie is access to education, how a young girl who dreams of being a pilot started making paper planes but was scared of her father finding out about them and also the fact that she would only read and study in her room. The pressure on women to hide their dreams and pursue education with the constant threat of their family not approving their dreams and the figureheads of the family deciding their future. The story is just one story of a girl who was not given a chance to pursue her dreams, but over the years, we have seen that in the context of Pakistan, female education has always been a hurdle. After researching female education in Pakistan, we saw that there are many hurdles to education, such as security, safety, lack of sanitation and resources, access disrupted due to distance, lack of enrollment due to family pressure and most important early marriages, which was directly shown in this movie. Women's education in Pakistan is a fundamental right of every female citizen, according to article thirty-seven of the Constitution of Pakistan, but we do not see it happening. There has been direct conflict towards women in Pakistan in terms of education but has the government done anything? We have just seen articles and rights, but these are just words. Have we seen any actions? Has there been any policy specifically made for women? Early marriages are a hurdle in education; why have they not been banned? This 15-minute animation shows us the importance of dreams and how women in Pakistan are deprived of pursuing their dreams.


-p.s poster is attached with text too


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I've always heard people from conservative backgrounds and less affording say that sending girls to school is nothing but destroying their future as they will learn to argue with their husband and in-laws and there is no point on spending on their education. If a family affords to send only some of their children to school, it will always be the sons a the firs priority. Most conventional fathers were always against their daughters attending school and girls would have to hide their passion for studying because they would be considered disobedient. Just like boys, whatever a irl's visions and dreams are, should be supported and encouraged rather than bashing them for dreaming.

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How biased is Pakistan's society when it comes to the education of girls. Why are these always girls to prove themselves to be able to get their right to education? Reading the blog, I had flashbacks of many of my fellows who were married right after completing their FSc because they did not get "decent grades" to continue their higher studies. The Pandemic also played an essential role in these decisions as I remember one of my colleague's mother saying, "ab to corona ha, ab isne prhke kia krna ha, behtr hai Shadi krke ghar basa ley."

Numerous factors, such as economic, societal, etc., led parents to these conclusions. However, the most dominating ones are socio-cultural related to girls' education…

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This post aptly articulates the struggles faced by females in Pakistan regarding their desires of education. The crucial issue is the lack of access and resources. There are two things that need to be addressed.

  1. The ideology that girl's education matters less than their male counterparts. The strong patriarchal influences on our cultural values need to be eliminated in order to grant females their rightful access to schooling.

  2. Government policies need to be implemented that ensure that security, safety and lack of sanitation are not hurdles in the way of female education.

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A great post. This issue has been portrayed since a long time in Pakistani cinema. I think it was the movie Bol in which Mahira Khan used hide from her father and go to study. Other than this I was in the host team of FILUMS- the film festival held by LUMS Media Arts Society- and I watched a local film submission in it that talked about the same topic of the female hiding from her brothers and hiding her books in under the tiles in the kitchen. However, I think these films glorified this act as some sort of a solution to this problem. I agree it is a form of rebellion and woman do need to rebel but…

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