KLF Omits Women Empowerment Discussion After Demand to Invite Women Speakers

Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) that earlier came under fire for the exclusion of students from a panel discussion on student’s rights, has now done it again with another plan this year.

Announcing a panel discussion on Financial Inclusion and Women Empowerment, KLF revealed its panel which consisted of all four male participants and a moderator who of course again was a man.

The festival organizers and Oxford Book Press came under fire for its clear cut gender bias as it failed to give females a representation in a discussion of high importance for women folks.

“KLF is one elite carnival where they talk abt women but don’t invite them to speak and where they talk about students but don’t invite them. Lit Fest in 2020 a mockery of both students and women’s rights. It is a sham!” said a Twitter user as many echoed the same voice.

After facing quite a backlash and demand to include females in the panel on this topic, KLF did the unprecedented.

They OMITTED the discussion ALTOGETHER. Yep, that’s what happened as the space for HBL sponsored panel discussion now remains empty on KLF’s website.

And as an author on Dawn, Images rightly put it: it was easier for KLF to remove a debate on women’s issue than replace some men on the panel with women and explain to them the reason for doing so.

Well, sometimes we do wonder if it’s actually KLF 2020 edition or one of the same old regressive festivals where women’s participation was frowned upon.

Aisha Arshad

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