Category Archives: Archive Edition

Effects of nutrition on educational standards of school children of a developing country

By Zubeida Mustafa 

In the age of specialization we have become so focused on specific areas and issues that we fail to take a holistic approach to problems. The fact is that human life comprises several integrated sectors. The impact of one on another is profound and symbiotic. Hence effective solutions to various problems call for a comprehensive strategy. Here I shall take up two very important areas of a child’s life that are closely interrelated though they are not treated as such by the policymakers. They are education and nutrition.
Both of these pose a major challenge to the people as well as the authorities in Third World countries. While education requires the government to provide facilities to enable children to enroll in school to study, nutrition is related to the health of a child without which education can prove to be a daunting task. A child who falls ill frequently has a high incidence of school absenteeism. That affects his education because irregularity in attendance causes her to miss her lessons and lowers her standards. While this is a phenomenon that is pretty visible, there is an insidious feature of children’s health that has an impact on education which does not find general mention in literature on paediatric health or education issues.
This is the impact malnutrition and various deficiencies make on the cognitive and mental growth and development of a child. It actually affects her intelligence, memory and capacity to learn. While the side-effects of the deficiency of various vitamins and iodine on the physical health of children have been documented not much is known generally about the impact of malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency on the intelligence and mental capacities of a child.
This is significant considering the widespread prevalence of malnutrition in Pakistan. According to the National Nutrition Survey (2011) nearly 43.7 percent of all children under five years of age in Pakistan are severely or moderately stunted. The same survey found 15.1 percent under-5 suffered from wasting and 31.5 percent were underweight.1 There is a lot of regional disparity in and within the provinces. Continue reading Effects of nutrition on educational standards of school children of a developing country

Parween Rehman: Lane by Lane

By Zofeen T. Ebrahim

pr-photoPerween Rehman is most at ease sitting with a group of people, especially if they are from a katchi abadi (low-income settlement) and can exchange ideas with her. A qualified architect, she heads
the well known Orangi Pilot Project- Research and Training Institute (OPP-RTI) in Karachi. There are piles of papers waiting for her and scores of meetings with Government Officials and their partners. But poor people are more important. And herein lies the success of the project, for people are “their own best resource”. Rehman radiates warmth. She smiles easily and frequently bursts into a chortle. You marvel as you listen to her with rapt attention, trying to figure out why she is the way she is. “I am an optimist. The maximum I can remain depressed for is ten minutes,” she tells you later when you interview her in a spacious, well-ventilated meeting room in OPP’s office, in Orangi.


“Maybe it has to do with what happened to us in East Pakistan,” and she begins her story. “I was in Class IX, in 1971, when Pakistan lost its eastern half (present Bangladesh). I was spoilt and pampered, being the youngest among four siblings and was like any teenager, obsessed with music, friends and partying”. Life was a never-ending joyride till the day the Mukti Bahini came to Mirpur, in Dhaka, where Rehman lived with her middle class parents. Rehman was transported to the seventies of East Pakistan. “We
saw people being killed, right in front of us. They separated the men from the women. I thought this would be the last I’d see of my father”.

Rehman, the Architect It was in her final year of studying architecture, in 1982, when Rehman, a star student of Dawood College of Engineering and Technology, Karachi, realised that what she was being taught was “not relevant”. “I was really confused. I didn’t know why I’d taken up architecture. The way the architects were designing was all wrong and the way they were treating young architects was worse,” was her first impression.

She had been visiting katchi abadis and had become interested in the social networks that existed there. Unwittingly, she was chalking out her future. The next two decades saw her totally committed to understanding development in the poor settlements of Karachi.

Even before her graduation, she landed in one of Karachi’s highflying architectural firms. She didn’t last there for even a month. After graduating, she got another plum job but her heart was just never in it. Restless, yet not knowing exactly why, she started exploring the city of Karachi by herself.

One morning she read about a low-cost housing project by some United Nations agency in Orangi, and decided to visit the place herself. A few hours later, she was in the office of the late Dr. Akhtar Hameed Khan, the renowned Pakistani social scientist. “I still remember my first encounter vividly. It was quite fascinating. It was a tiny room, with barely any natural light. I didn’t know what to expect,” recalled Rehman. “’Doctor Sahib’ looked me up and down and asked why I had come. I said I wanted to work,” she narrated her first meeting in detail. “He sat next to me and listened attentively to all my woes as a disillusioned youngster”. The thing that struck her was the respect he gave to her.

Every Saturday after that, she would be in Khan’s office in Orangi and among the people with whom she felt most at ease. He gave her an assignment, a sanitation model that was not working. “He wanted me to go into the community, talk to the people and find out what was wrong with it”. At that time the OPP was not providing technical guidelines. It was providing maps and motivating people to work on a self-help basis. “It became evident that leaving things to the masons doesn’t work. You have to provide technical guidance. This resulted in a lot of conflict within our office.”


In 1983, Rehman formally joined OPP as a full time architect to provide technical guidance. Rehman said that Khan was very clear that his work needed social organisation and technical guidance, provided by professionals. “He tried getting professionals but they were not willing to work at the kind of salary he was offering,” she said ruefully.

On the other hand, despite low wages and long hours, Rehman just took to the work. “I am lucky to have worked with the best. At the OPP you learn as you grow. It teaches you that you can have a good life even in simplicity”. She described OPP variously during the course of the interview – as “a way of life”; an “attitude”, a “catalyst”, “great people’s work”, an “urban phenomenon”, a “movement”, but not a project.

She has fond memories of the eighteen year relationship with Khan. “He taught me a way of life. When I first joined I would fight with a lot of the other team members. Fresh out of college, armed with a degree, I thought I knew more than them and ordered them around. Naturally there were many rifts”. Khan taught her to “first acknowledge what you lack, try and see who has those skills and then stick to them like a leech and pick their brains!”

When Rehman joined the OPP, she was the only woman among a group of men. Somehow, water and sanitation have long

Orangi not a Slum
Orangi Town, once a blighted settlement, is often referred to as Karachi’s biggest slum.

Today, Rehman takes it as a personal affront if anyone calls Orangi a slum. She’d prefer the term “poor, unofficial settlements”. To her, slum, a derogatory term, means “physical and social degradation”. “But here, in Orangi, you won’t find one dirty lane!” she points out. “Even legally it does not come under the purview of a katchi abadi. It has been notified by the Government. In fact, 72 percent of Karachi settlements, which were once bracketed as slums, have been notified.”

“The Government likes to use the term to get donor funding,” she says.

pr-workingremained a male-dominated sector. But that did not deter her in any way. In 1988, the OPP branched out as three independent institutions. The OPP-RTI takes care of sanitation, housing, education, water-supply and secure housing; the OPP-OCT (Orangi Charitable Trust) and the OPP-KHASDA (Karachi Health and Social Development Association). Today, there are 24 women in all the three programmes, including six working in water and sanitation. “I think it’s very important to have men and women working in a team. Women learn to be assertive and men become gentler,” she said.

However, she feels w o m e n h a v e a n advantage over men in the development field, especially vis-à-vis the poor. “As a woman working in the field it was very easy for me to enter a household and talk to the women. That gave me an edge over the men in my team and let me look at issues in a more detailed manner”.With OPP-RTI now actively lobbying with the Local Government, R e h m a n , b e i n g a woman, finds it easier to meet the Mayor. “My male counterpart may well be made to wait for hours before being allowed an audience. Women are treated with more respect!”

But to be taken seriously, women in the water sector, have to prove that they are technically knowledgeable. “Only then they would be accepted,” says Rehman. She experienced that too. “I was young and talking about serious issues. For many, who were not used to women in this area, it was initially a little difficult to digest. But once they started working with me, things were different and acceptance was forthcoming”.

Women as Motivators
After over two decades of working with women in the urban areas, Rehman quickly puts to rest the long-held view that women have no say in decision-making. “My experience has been otherwise. However, women may be using men as their mouthpiece and it may seem that men are making that decision. Women, by nature, are not assertive but gentle persuaders. We had to take women on board first. Men may have laid the pipes, but it was the women who collected the money; they were the mobilisers. I’d say things are a lot less complicated if you involve women!”

Rehman gives the example of Dadi Ama, the octogenarian who went door to door, convincing the people to lay the sewers. Single-handedly she collected money for the work from all 50 houses in her lane. It was the first lane in Orangi’s Mujahid Colony where OPP carried out sanitation work.

The OPP took people into its confidence and started by advocating for the development of an underground sewerage system, one lane at a time, without a master plan, and convincing the Local Government to “build and improve on the existing external drainage system of the rest of Karachi, which would cost less than starting a new system”.

OPP – one lane at a time
Once swarming with flies and mosquitoes, over-flowing soak-pits, bucket latrines, sludge and sewage, Orangi, with a population of 1.4 million spread over 113 settlements was considered an eyesore even by Government Officials.

Thirty years later, OPP-RTI proudly show-cases its biggest success story to local and foreign urban planners, donor agencies, NGOs, community activists working in water supply and sanitation, and even anthropologists.

The transformation of Orangi can undoubtedly be attributed to a vibrant, three-way partnership among community, civil society and state, based on the philosophy of the late Akhtar Hameed Khan. He believed that by mobilising and organising the community you can enable them to find their own alternatives in accessing municipal services.

It costs a household, on an average around PKR 1900 (USD 23) to contribute towards the underground sewerage line and a sanitary latrine. This development is called ‘internal’ development by Rehman who said similar improvements done by the City Government would cost five times more. To date, Orangi residents have installed sewerage and water lines in 6,934 lanes, serving 100, 000 houses. The people’s work has been complemented by the Government which laid the main trunk lines.

Over the years, OPP- RTI’s work has expanded and been replicated beyond Orangi Town. “We have grown in different ways”. From one neighbourhood, lane by lane, the initiative spread to the entire city and from a community project it became a communitycivil society-government partnership.

Emphasising documentation, the OPP-RTI has published survey maps, painstakingly marking each and every sewer, water line and drain surveyed so far. All the branch drains have been surveyed but new ones are being discovered. It has also documented 451 of the 539 low-income settlements in Karachi, and physical and economic proposals for upgrading. This has led to developing 60% of all natural drains through which most of Karachi’s sewage flows. In addition, 102 goths (small villages in the periphery under the city’s administration) have also been documented.

Their work bore fruit in 2004 when the City Government requested OPP-RTI to assist it in developing around 105 natural drainage channels all over Karachi. “Our success is that the Government has finally accepted OPP-RTI’s sewage disposal plan for Karachi”. OPPRTI suggested that the natural drains be used for disposal of sewage and rainwater and treatment plants be installed where these drains enter the Arabian Sea.

Further, OPP-RTI’s philosophy is well entrenched in the 2006 National Sanitation Policy. This includes component sharing model, build on what exists, mapping and documentation using local resources, refusing foreign loans and Government working in partnership with the people. The OPP-RTI has also influenced similar projects in 28 other cities and over a 100 villages in Punjab and Sindh, reaching more than two million people. Some elements of the programme have been adopted in Nepal, Sri Lanka and India.

“We’re neither contractors, nor delivery people, we are teachers, ourselves learning from situations,” says Rehman.

The three exploitations


Reviewed by Zubeida Mustafa

Given the crisis that Pakistan faces today, it is important that political analysts make an effort to understand in the light of scholarship the factors that have contributed to pushing the country to the brink. We tend to look at the contemporary situation, especially the interplay of political forces, and draw up conclusions that lead to “false analyses”, to use the words of the renowned author of The Taliban, Ahmed Rashid. In that context, Frontier of Faith by Sana Haroon, is a book that must be read. It will certainly add to the reader’s understanding of the north-western regions of Pakistan that have spawned the militancy and extremism that is the bane of the country today. Continue reading The three exploitations

Karachi mafia seek political clout with land grabs

Taimur Khan

KARACHI // Sometimes, politically motivated killings in Karachi rise, as they did after a councillor was assassinated this year and more than 100 people died in 72 hours of revenge attacks.

But on most days, the hum of death in Pakistan’s largest city is steady and routine. It is fuelled by the city’s ethnic political parties and their “land mafias”, who fight to control property that provides profits and political power. Continue reading Karachi mafia seek political clout with land grabs

Hope for the Children

Philip Ransley (L) and Jeeta Dhillon
By Zubeida Mustafa

A boy — seemingly healthy — is born to a young couple and there is much rejoicing in the family. But little do the parents know at the time that tragic news awaits them. The infant has urethral valve obstruction at birth and if he is not treated in time he will head for kidney failure.Today there is hope for the infant, thanks to the Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT), Karachi, which is the only medical facility in Pakistan that has a unit for paediatric urology. Dr Philip Ransley, a paediatric urologist from the UK, who helped in the establishment of a paediatric urology unit in SIUT, finds it ‘crazy’ that there is no other unit of its kind in a country of 180 million where 45 per cent of the population is under 15.

The parents of the children — 20,000 of them who visit SIUT’s biweekly paediatric clinic every year — have much to be thankful for. They are provided the best state-of-the-art treatment free of charge by specialists trained by world renowned urologists in an environment that is child friendly. Bladder extrophy, spina bifida, and traumas caused by accidents that could become the cause of much anguish to children and their parents no longer lead to despair. There is hope.

The silver lining in Pakistan’s dark cloud of the public health sector is the SIUT which is the creation of the iconic Dr Adibul Hasan Rizvi who recently received a standing ovation in the National Assembly where every political party head lauded his efforts.

It was his vision — he always speaks of having a dream and then goes after it like a driven man — that saw the birth of the paediatric urology unit in 2002. The significance of this was driven home to me by Mr Philip Ransley who was in Karachi last week to conduct the Second International Paediatric Urology workshop. Mr Ransley retired a few years ago from London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital where he had trained under Sir David Innis, the legendary father of paediatric urology in Britain. He has made it his life mission to help the children of Pakistan and says, “Like many other areas of medicine, urology is a discipline that requires specialists trained for children. A urologist who operates on adults cannot really treat children’s urological problems with the expertise needed for it.”

“When I first started coming to Pakistan (he has been here dozens of times) my idea was to do surgery to rescue children from problems which no one could do here. Then following the dictum ‘give a man a fish and he feeds himself for a day but give him a fishing rod and he feeds himself for life’ I decided to pass on my expertise to the surgeons in Pakistan. The essence of our success is that SIUT’s paediatric urologists now take care of the vast majority of cases themselves — they have been quick on the uptake. They are even doing bladder reconstruction surgery which they had never done before,” Philip Ransley comments.

That explains the importance of the four day workshop held at the SIUT last week. The idea was to transfer knowledge of the new techniques that are continuously emerging in the world of medicine. Along with Philip Ransley and his colleague from London, Jeeta Dhillon, a perinatal urologist, the workshop was conducted by a guest faculty of four from France, the US, Germany and Italy.

Run with “amazing organisation of a military nature” (in Ransley’s words), the workshop was found “mind-blowing” by Jeeta Dhillon. There were three operation theatres running simultaneously throughout the workshop — unheard of in any surgical workshop anywhere in the world — ensuring continuity and intensive interaction. It also allowed the faculty to introduce the participants (about 150 of them from all over Pakistan) to different techniques. Laproscopic surgery, the latest entry in the field of paediatric urology and practised the world over, topped the agenda. Another area of interest was reconstruction of the bladder — a complex and time-consuming procedure.

What made the workshop so successful was not just the minute-to-minute scheduling done by Jeeta, the wonder woman of the exercise, but also the care and time taken in the selection of the 17 children operated upon — a nine-month process undertaken by Dr Sajid Sultan and the paediatric unit of the SIUT he heads. Jeeta pointed out that urologists don’t get to see so many cases in any workshop — and all free.

It was therefore a pity that the delegates from abroad — excepting the Turks — didn’t turn up. It is the image of Pakistan being an unsafe place that put them off. But the faculty who came were so pleased with their experience in Karachi that, as Philip Ransley hopes, they will talk about it and more people will visit.

Not surprisingly, WHO has decided to select SIUT as its collaborating centre for organ transplantation in the eastern Mediterranean.

Source: Dawn

Continue reading Hope for the Children

Female Workers Break Stereotypes in Karachi

by Steve Inskeep

Sabra Khadun and neighbors are digging a water line. They have been buying water in tanks, but it has become too expensive.
Sabra Khadun and neighbors are digging a water line. They have been buying water in tanks, but it has become too expensive.
Tracy Wahl/NPR

On a narrow, unpaved Karachi street that has never had water service, a handful of men were digging a trench recently. They were digging it for their own water line, at their own expense.

For this part of Karachi, that’s normal. But surprisingly, for this part of the world, a woman was supervising the men.

Sabra Khadun has a cold, steady gaze and a stud in her nose. She explains that everybody on the street is donating money for the water line.

She lives in a tiny house, in a settlement that you could call a slum. The living room is painted pastel blue. And there’s a cushioned wood couch, big enough to hold a few of her 11 children — four sons and seven daughters. Every child’s name begins with the letter “S,” just like hers.

Parveen Rehman left a job at a high-end Karachi architectural firm to join the Orangi Pilot Project, a nongovernmental organization that supports people living in illegally built settlements.
Parveen Rehman left a job at a high-end Karachi architectural firm to join the Orangi Pilot Project, a nongovernmental organization that supports people living in illegally built settlements.
Tracy Wahl/NPR

It’s not unusual to find women in leading roles in Karachi’s development. At the city’s public universities, female students vastly outnumber the men in key fields like architecture.

People aren’t sure why, but it’s happening.

One of Karachi’s former architectural students is Parveen Rehman. She started her career dismayed by the work she was doing.

“When I graduated, I was very confused,” she says.

Rehman worked for a famous architect, designing a hotel, when she decided to walk out and change course. She ended up going to work instead for an organization called the Orangi Pilot Project. It gives poor people the help they need to dig their own sewers, or water lines, when the government does not.

Rehman vividly recalls something that she heard from the project’s male founder, who spoke of the power of women. He compared himself to a grandmother — “not your grandfather, because your grandmother gives love … and through love she’s able to encourage and make people grow.”

Women are active in the development of Karachi, but Rehman says “they do not like to publicize” their roles.

‘Gentle but Persuasive’

A woman “is in charge of the entire house, [the] entire budget,” Rehman says. “And if she’s not convinced, no money can be let out for the development. No house can be improved, no child can go and get educated. It’s a woman who [makes] the decision.

“But when you go into some house, a man will come and talk and be very upfront and high profile, because by nature the women have been very gentle but persuasive. They know how to persuade their men … to do the things that they want to get done.”

Dealing with government officials initially was difficult for women, Rehman says. If women told an official, ” ‘You do this, you do that’ … he would start avoiding us. There’s a lot of things he can’t do. The system is such. But now we go and we say, ‘We want your advice. Please tell us what to do,’ and they feel very happy.

“I feel sometimes — not with men and women — with any group, if you come just upfront and try to be … the person taking credit for everything, that’s where things start going wrong,” she says. Once you rise up horizontally, you take everybody with you. But if you want to rise vertically, you will rise, but then nobody will be there for you.”

Rehman heads a research center in Orangi, a section of Karachi. She also teaches a college class in architecture. The list of students right now includes 11 women — no men.

It’s not unusual to find women in leading roles in Karachi’s development. At the city’s public universities, female students vastly outnumber the men in key fields like architecture.

People aren’t sure why, but it’s happening.

One of Karachi’s former architectural students is Parveen Rehman. She started her career dismayed by the work she was doing.

“When I graduated, I was very confused,” she says.

Rehman worked for a famous architect, designing a hotel, when she decided to walk out and change course. She ended up going to work instead for an organization called the Orangi Pilot Project. It gives poor people the help they need to dig their own sewers, or water lines, when the government does not.

Source: NPR

Hira: the conjoined twin who survived

KARACHI: Pakistan’s surviving conjoined twin Hira Anwar, after she made a splash in the world press in the wake of her successful surgery in the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto in 1995, is back in our pages. The public interest in conjoined twins created by the death of the Iranian sisters, Ladan and Laleh, revived interest in Hira’s case.

A visit to Surjani Town in the low-income area of New Karachi enabled me to witness one of the modern wonders of medical science. That is Hira, who was born to Fatima and Anwar Jamal in 1992. As one of the triplets, Hira (a craniopagus) was joined with her sister Nida at the head and lived in this unnatural state for over two years until Canadian doctors separated them in January 1995. Nida died a month after the surgery. Experts say that only two per cent of conjoined twins are joined at the head and the rate of survival of craniopagus undergoing separation surgery is very low.

Hira-21-07-2003Hira has grown up to be a shy and charming child of 11, seemingly normal in every way. She is thin for her age but is taller than the other surviving triplet, Faryal. Bright and friendly, she greeted me with a warm handshake as she told me about her school, her studies (she will now be starting grade four) and her hobbies. She has come a long way since I saw her last in March 1995 in the cheerful ambience of Toronto’s paediatric hospital, said to be the biggest of its kind in North America.

In 1996, Hira had to make another trip to Canada. This time it was for follow-up reconstructive surgery on her skull and scalp. Until then Hira had been wearing a protective helmet. Skin transplants were carried out by a plastic surgeon. The hospital then sent her home giving her a clean bill of health.

Today, Hira leads a normal life though she has to cope with some of the trauma of the original surgery, which had lasted 17 hours and had involved a team of 23 medical specialists. Her left arm and leg have been left somewhat weakened. The doctors were of the opinion that she would soon outgrow this weakness in her limbs as she gained in strength and weight. Last year, her mother took her for several sessions of acupuncture to a local doctor at Nagan Chowrangi which she says was helping, but the high cost, Rs 100 per session, caused her to discontinue the treatment. Such is the price the poor have to pay for their poverty in this country – expensive health care and malnutrition, apart from unemployment which is Jamal’s lot at the moment.

Hira has only one kidney, as one of her organs was transplanted into Nida (who was born without kidneys) before the separation surgery. Her mother has been advised to observe the normal guidelines urologists prescribe to prevent kidney stones and infections.

Hira was too young when they were separated to remember Nida. But she loves to hear all the stories about her birth and how she and Nida lived together for over two years, and about her epoch-making journey to Toronto where they were received with open arms by the South Asian community and the medical staff of the HSC.

The family — there are two other siblings — recalls gratefully how a report in this paper breaking the news of the twins’ plight way back in 1994 changed their life. Anwar Jamal had been at the end of his tether then. Subsequently, the turning point arrived when the government came forward to help and many others in Canada took up their cause. But above all Anwar Jamal, the devoted father who had visited Hira and Nida day after day for two years at the National Institute of Child Health, has words of praise for the staff of the NICH who looked after the twins in their conjoined state with selfless devotion — taking care of them, playing with them and comforting them when they were in distress.

Today the parents dote over Hira — though they say they try not to spoil her. Nida, the one who could not make it, lives on in their memory and in the enlarged photograph Fatima has put up in her modest sitting room. — Zubeida Mustafa

Letters To The Editor: In memory of Nida and Hira

DR Arif Bawany is right when in his letter he says that our press failed to remember our own conjoined twins, Hira and Nida, while reporting the case of the Iranian sisters, Ladan and Laleh (July 15). But he has got many of his facts wrong. This is just to put the record straight because Dawn was the paper which first reported the case of Hira and Nida when they were two years old and had been in the National Institute of Child Health, Karachi, since they were brought there soon after their birth in October 1992. Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto read the Dawn report and directed the government to pay for the twins’ treatment.

It was the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto (and not Montreal as stated by Dr Bawany) which offered to take up the case. The surgery was performed in January and Nida died a month later. But Hira recovered and returned home to Karachi a few months later. We followed her case in Toronto where I visited her in the hospital, interviewed the neurosurgeon Dr Harold Hoffman and met her parents and the third triplet, Faryal. Our reporter managed to trace Hira a year later in Karachi where she was under the care of doctors at the AKUH. But subsequently we lost track of her as we were told that her father, Anwar Jamal, had migrated from the country.

It would be interesting to know if Hira is alive — she would be eleven if she is. When I last met her she needed to wear a helmet because of the opening in her skull for which reconstructive surgery was to be done a few years later.

Hira-17-07-2003A follow-up on Hira would be instructive. Many people were professionally, emotionally and financially involved in that case. Beginning with the nurses at the NICH in Karachi who looked after the infants for two years, to Dr Harold Hoffman and his team at the HSC in Toronto, the South Asian community in Canada which raised a sum of 263,000 Canadian dollars and the Pakistan government which paid 135,541 Canadian dollars for the treatment, the case evoked considerable public interest.


Source: DAWN Thursday, July 17, 2003

Do we need a women’s movement?

By. Zubeida Mustafa

On international women’s day last year, we had a torchlight March in Karachi to commemorate the occasion. I still remember how the flickering flames of the torches captured the powerful emotions on the faces of the participants. Most of them were familiar faces. Many had been turning up every year on March 8 for nearly two decades and the bonds of sisterhood held them together. It was reassuring to observe their strong commitment to the women’s cause. But it was saddening to note that there were not enough young faces around. Continue reading Do we need a women’s movement?