New forum seeks to unite Pakistani women

New forum seeks to unite Pakistani women

Abu Dhabi: A newly formed Pakistani women’s forum in the UAE has taken the improvement of community schools as its cause.

The Pakistani Women’s Forum in the Emirates also aims to reach out to Pakistani workers, organise workshops to benefit the community, and organise visits to members of the community in need.

“There are many Pakistani community groups in the UAE, but Pakistani women have largely met on a social basis so far, or through professional groups in which they are members. Our primary goal is to connect these women so that they can galvanise the community and work on social causes together,” Leena Moazzam, wife of the Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE, Moazzam Ahmad Khan, told Gulf News.

The Forum, which was created in December 2016, will operate under the auspices of the Pakistani Embassy. It now boasts 88 members, and hopes to expand its membership considerably over the coming months. Its Facebook page has also attracted about 600 members in the past two weeks.

“With 1.5 million people, the UAE houses the second largest Pakistani diaspora in the world. Many of these expatriates have been here for decades, and we want to empower the women to work for the community and contribute to it,” Moazzam said.

“Moreover, we want to maintain and enhance our strong ties with the emirates through our activities,” she added.

The improvement of educational standards at the Pakistani schools has been selected as one of the Forum’s first projects as these institutions serve low-income Pakistani families.

“There are currently seven Pakistani schools in the UAE. Many of the parents whose children study in these schools are unable to pay even the nominal monthly tuition fees, and in turn, the institutions remain unable to enhance their educational offerings. We want to look into supporting needy parents if required,” Moazzam said.

The forum also plans to visit worker accommodations to support Pakistani workers, as well as visit needy Pakistanis who are hospitalised or imprisoned.

“In addition, we want to expand certain community initiatives over time. For example, the Pakistani Association Dubai holds free medical screenings every Friday, and we hope to extend these kinds of ventures for Pakistani expatriates across the UAE,” Moazzam said.