Several dozen Sindhi families gathered in Artesia, Calif., Mar. 7 to celebrate International Women’s Day in an event organized by the International Sindhi Women Organization, a nonprofit, community-based group that highlights the struggles of Sindhi women in Sindh and overseas.
“ISWO is playing a unique role in the Sindhi diaspora community by providing opportunities to strengthen the bonds with countless Sindhis that migrated during partition,” said ISWO U.S. president Samina Panwhar, while highlighting ISWO’s activities in policy and advocacy as well as grassroots-level efforts.
Welcoming the guests, emcee Sobhya Agha said, “Today is the day to appreciate the respect, achievements and love towards women. We are delighted to have Sindhi women from various backgrounds to celebrate the bond of Sindhi culture.”
Dr. Sarina Chugani Molina, assistant professor at the University of San Diego, shared a poem and delivered a multimedia presentation about her family’s journey around the world, emphasizing the adaptability of Sindhis.
The event also featured a fundraising drive to support Kainat Soomro, a Sindhi woman who is struggling to seek justice for a gang-rape she experienced at the age of 13. Her tragic story was described by Southern California-based lawyer and human rights advocate Kavita Tekchanchandani and shown through the screening of award-winning documentary “Outlawed in Pakistan.”
The program also included a classical dance performance by Dr. Meena Makhijani and Sindhi music by Sarla Sippy.
ISWO recognized the volunteers who worked to put together the event, which was supported by the Sindhi Association of Southern California, World Sindhi Congress and Sindhu Center.
ISWO, which has been active in the U.S. for the past three years, celebrated a similar event in the UK on the same day.