After a panel on feminism hosted by The Arts Council of Pakistan was met with backlash online for being a ‘manel’, the organisers have added a couple of women to the line-up
The panel, formerly titled ‘Feminism: The Other Perspective’ and now called ‘Understanding Feminism’ was criticised for the all-men roster, with many calling it out for hijacking the movement.
Jibran Nasir, who is part of the panel, had given his clarification, admitting “the title is misleading and I’ve requested the organizers to change it.”
According to him, “the panel is about men talking to other men about rethinking masculinity and why as men we need feminism. It wasn’t to explain feminism or talk about women issues as men.”
The talk will now include two women – Mehtab Akbar Rashidi and Quatrina Hosain with Uzma Al-Karim as a moderator; filmmaker Nabeel Qureshi is no longer on the panel.
We’re still a little unsure about the title if the purpose of the panel is actually about redefining masculinity (that sounds like a fine title right there) and discussing men supporting women. However, accountability is important and we’re glad that the issue was understood by those participating and there was an attempt to fix the glaring problem. There’s nothing wrong with admitting an error in judgement and saying “I stand corrected” as Jibran did.
We just hope a lesson has been learnt rather than the changes being made for the sake of optics after being called out for excluding women. Baby steps. Guess we’ll find out when the event takes place.