The AAUWNJ (American Association of University Women of New Jersey) Mt. Lakes Branch hosted an open to the public lecture at the Mt Lakes Public Library to a full room of attendees on Thursday, April 18th. The topic was The Different Lives of Aliya & Rachel - Women's Health in the Third World.
The talk was presented by an AAUWNJ Mt. Lakes Branch member, Surayya Jabeen, who is on the Executive Committee of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She presented the dismal outlook for a typical girl in the poorest regions of south Asia who is married off at the age of 10 and bears her first child at 13; a world that is absent of reproductive education and where customs ban all forms of birth control. With multiple miscarriages, many births and nonexistent prenatal care, these women have a short life span. Many die by the age of 21. These are the regions that Surayya Jabeen visits three times a year when she travels throughout the world educating and lecturing about women's health and human development.
Surayya hopes to raise the visibility of "Third World Regions" unmet needs for family planning and the high levels of unplanned pregnancies and their costs, consequences and solutions. Her goal is providing education in these areas to effect positive change in reducing maternal disability and mortality.
Surayya was happy to share this educational talk close to her home in Boonton and for AAUW which shares in the same mission of - A community without oppression and women's empowerment.
The Mt Lakes Library talk also had an added topic speaker who provided cultural aspects of family and marriage customs of her native Pakistan. Nuzhat Khokhar spoke of her 3 day courtship of their family arranged marriage. She was 15 and her husband was 26. Soon after their wedding they immigrated to the United States. She gave birth to two very American children. Her daughter is attending college to become a medical doctor and her son is studying business. Nuzhat spoke of her daughter’s request to keep heritage traditions and asked her mother to return to wearing a hijab. She told of her awkward moment of informing her boss that she was going to cover her hair with the hijab and was happy that her coworkers accepted her new wardrobe piece as part of her own personal lifestyle choice. Nuzhat is a long term resident of Hopatcong.
AAUW-NJ has been providing educational programs on women’s equality to schools, colleges and communities. This talk covered women’s sexual reproductive health and its devastating impact on women lives when it is restricted.
In Photo L-R. Adrienne Lesser- AAUWNJ (Mt. Lakes Branch) ; Farida Saeed- Guest; Surayya Jabeen - Guest Speaker AAUWNJ (Mt. Lakes Branch); Sally Goodson – AAUWNJ (Nutley/Sussex County Branch); Janice Schindler - PPGNNJ Guest; Nuzhat Khokhar –Guest Speaker ; Susan Wagner –AAUWNJ (Sussex County Branch); Barbara Colwell-AAUWNJ (Mt. Lakes Branch). Article submitted by Michele Guttenberger AAUWNJ VP of Communications (Sussex County Branch).