On Friday 8 March, 2013, PashtunWomenViewpoint held an online conference “United Voices on International Women’s Day 2013.”
In celebration of International Women's Day (IWD), the Pashtun Women Viewpoint team looked beyond Pakistan and Afghanistan to provide a platform to women’s organizations around the world to highlight the situation of women in their communities. Pashtun Women Viewpoint believes in acknowledging the obstacles and challenges faced by women, and often by women's organizations, and recognizes the contributions made by women in the face of these challenges and obstacles.
We believe that women around the world, despite their vast differences, have more in common than what differentiates them. Per our motto for IWD 2013, “United Voices,", our aim was to come together and share our experiences and challenges and learn from each other. We did this by hosting a live online conference that included many participants, in addition to some special guests.
We were honored to announce the following individuals and members from our partnering organizations as our guest speakers:
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa: Samar Minallah Khan - Member of Pashtun Women Advisory Board
Having graduated from the University of Cambridge with an MPhil in Anthropology, Samar's interests lie in civil and human rights which she translates to film, holding up a mirror to certain aspects of society in order to effect change.
Samar has received several national and international awards for her documentaries. Some of these include:
• Vital Voices Global Leadership Award 2013, Washington
• Roberto Rossellini Award, Maori Film Festival, Italy. 2009
• Pakistan Women’s Day Award, 2011, National Commission for the Status of Women, Government of Pakistan..
• Cannon Award, Maori Film Festival, Italy, 2009.
• Unicef/ABU/CASBAA Girl Child Rights Media Award 2005.
• Perdita Huston Human Rights Activist Award' 2007,
• Civic Courage Award 2009 by the Center for Civic Education, Pakistan,
• Chang Lin Tein Fellowship award by the Asia Foundation in 2010.
• Winner of South Asian Filmmaking Competition on HIV/AIDS by UNESCO, 2008.
● Pakistan Women’s Day Award for ‘Challenging Culturally Sanctioned Forms of Violence against Women’ through media, 2011, NCSW, Government of Pakistan
Allumni Ambassador for British Council Pakistan, 2011.
England: Chris Crowstaff - Founder Trustee at Safe World for Women.
Chris lives in rural England and has a particular interest in the grassroots and marginalised communities. In 2008, she founded a women's rights organisation which became Safe World for Women.
The following summer, she visited women's groups in rural Uganda - in particular, a group based in a warrior region on the border of South Sudan, AWARE Uganda, which became one of the first Safe World Field Partners.
Safe World for Women now has partners throughout Africa and Asia, including DR Congo, Nigeria, the Thai-Burma Border, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Safe World seeks to increase the online presence of grassroots groups and highlights their work.
"Through working with locally-based groups, we can help to make sustainable changes in a culturally-sensitive and empowering way," says Chris.'
Nigeria: Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale - Founder of Stop the Abuse of Rights (STAR)
Olutosin Oladosu Adebowale is a woman's rights activist and founder of Star of Hope Transformation Centre in Nigeria, in 2009. The organisation has recently been formally registered.
The Transformation Centre focuses in particular on: Child Sexual Abuse, prevention, response and treatment, Gender Based Violence, and Empowerment on Street Skills.
Olutosin studied English Language at the University of Lagos, followed by a Masters in English Language and a Diploma in Computer Studies.
She has been trained in Citizen Journalism by WorldPulse and has a Diploma in Gender, Diversity and Transformation from Visthar in Bangalore, India. She also has a Diploma in Transformation from the Institute of Transformation in Kleinmond, Cape Town, South Africa.
She has written four manuscripts on sexual violence, widowhood and infidelity and is Nigeria Correspondent for Safe World for Women.
Olutosin has recently being selected by The Coady International Institute, Canada, as one of the 15 emerging global leaders.
Egypt: Fadia Badrawi - Co-Founder at Voice of Egyptian Women
Fadia is an Egyptian exhibiting artist and creative director of a web design business.
Since the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Fadia has been a volunteer/activist with particular concern for women's rights. She supported Dr. El Baradei's call for change, and became active in promoting political participation and awareness through communication via social media and informational sessions.
Ireland: Louise Hogan
Louise is a freelance writer and a student at the Irish Centre for Human Rights.
She has previously worked with women human rights defenders from the East and Horn of Africa with SIHA Network in Uganda. Most recently, she was Associate Project Coordinator with Justice Africa UK, where she worked primarily on the African Union Human Rights Memorial project but also on constitutional consultation projects in South Sudan.
She is Global Correspondent (on issues of women and conflict) for A Safe World for Women. She is also a contributor to the Women Under Siege Project, which focuses on the use of sexual violence as a tool of conflict and genocide.
Her report on the use of sexualised violence in South Kordofan was highlighted by the UK Foreign Office Initiative to Prevent Sexual Violence in Conflict during the 16 days of activism against gender violence.
Her primary writing and working interests are issues relating to women in conflict and post-conflict societies, the use of sexualised violence in conflict and genocide prevention.
This event focused on the roles and the empowerment of women as well as the benefits that this empowerment will bring to their societies. We discussed with our guest speakers how women, especially in post-war societies, can be empowered in all stages of society to benefit an overall development of their countries.
Join us in appreciation of women’s contributions to the development of their societies by registering here for our online conference on March 8th at 2 pm (CET) - which is:
Interested individuals also participated via Twitter (@PashtunWomenvp) by tweeting their questions and comments live; and also via Facebook (our Facebook Page: Pashtun Women Viewpoint). In addition, questions and comments were sent via e-mail to .
The Pashtun Women Viewpoint team
Pashtun Women Viewpoint Contact Information:
Public Affairs and responsible for the Press Release: Heelai Noor
Press Spokesperson: Spogmay Waziri Kakar