By Hina Gul, Human Resources Manager, SAWERA
The world feels like a mystery.
Everyone has wishes and hopes, and people live according to their own priorities. However, it seems that the majority do not realise the value and importance of their lives, and have no real sense of purpose. They are here in this world, just existing and passing their lives.
I am a woman. I have dreams and passions. And I know my purpose in life. My purpose is to do something innovative in my life, and to serve my community and humankind – especially women. I have full-time jobs and I contribute to the economy, and it is through my work that I have met and come to know people from all walks of life.
Although I am experienced in different fields, I am not an expert by any means, and would not dream of making suggestions about how others should conduct their lives, or to impose my ideas on anybody, so this is based on my humble opinion.
I have noticed that the majority do not realize the importance, or the value of joining an organisation in the non-governmental sector, because they have the wrong concept of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and international non-governmental organisations, especially here in Pakistan.
People do make their opinions known if they are unhappy with a situation, and most do not shy away from voicing their dissatisfaction. However, many of these opinions are based on other people’s comments or personal experiences, and not their own.
Raising issues and creating dialogue in finding solutions should be encouraged, but most times, people are only interested in complaining and are unwilling to do more, or even welcome women’s participation in any discussion.
My involvement in the non-governmental sector started when I was a student, and I have been contributing to my community since 2006. I have learnt so much through my work and the experience I have gained has been invaluable, but the learning process continues and there is still so much to achieve.
Being a voice for the many voiceless women and helping to achieve women’s empowerment is my purpose in life. And this is also one of reasons why I joined SAWERA (Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas), a local women-led NGO in Pakistan, working in the tribal area of Khyber Agency in particular, and in the Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA) in general. It is a tribal society mostly, and commonly, a religious society. SAWERA reaches out to women and works on improving women and child rights.
There are many positive reasons to join and be a part of the non-governmental sector like SAWERA. We can help others achieve social and economic development and empowerment, and many have benefited from the assistance and programmes through local NGOs. SAWERA also provides moral and financial support to vulnerable and marginalized families in the community that are repeatedly ignored by the authorities. The management and staff at SAWERA operates the organization like a family, and this is the most inspirational and endearing quality of the organization.
This is one of the reasons why I joined and became a part of SAWERA - without hesitation.
I have been very fortunate to have the support of my family and from the members of staff at SAWERA. My SAWERA family members are very supportive. Not only are they dedicated in helping the women and children in our communities, this kindness and dedication also extend to members of staff and volunteers. The staff and volunteers are also committed, and work very hard to help improve the lives of others around them, through innovative work and programmes for different fields.
Networking is also important and necessary. Working with like-minded people and other organisations that share similar interests and goals help to achieve greater results, and can improve the quality of life for many more in the communities too.
My mission is to promote gender equality and to help improve women’s human rights. It is my desire to see the women in my community and my country enjoying a better quality of life, and be given more opportunities. Gender-based violence exists everywhere in the world, but especially in less developed countries where people are less aware of human rights and equality, and how harmful and destructive violence against women can be towards our families and our communities.
I advocate against gender-based violence. I am against all kinds of violence used against women.
I want to raise awareness on the plight of other women around the world, too; like the lack of equality and women’s rights, violence, lack of justice, and other problems they are facing on their own communities and countries.
If there is no equality, there can be no justice for women. And this is an important factor that should never be ignored in any part of the world.
Women's issues, and grassroots NGOs working for women's empowerment, need to be prioritised in terms of funding and resources.
I have a dream.
My vision is to bring together all the women in the world – unite us in sisterhood, regardless of race, background and culture.
To create a platform for women, where we can encourage each other, express opinions, share issues and explore solutions.
This will help every aspect of our lives; be it getting access to higher education, employment, financial security or independence. It will have a positive impact on our families too, because we will be in better positions to provide for our families and our children, and it will enable us to better ourselves.
Serving the community and collaborating to find solutions is a victorious step towards success and empowerment. And female empowerment and leadership is necessary for every sector of any society.
My vision is also to travel the world, to share my experiences, and to listen to women in other regions.
Women are powerful. Women are an intrinsic part of every nation’s identity and destiny.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.” Diane Mariechild
SAWERA is a local women-led NGO in Pakistan, working in Khyber Agency (a tribal area) in particular, and in Federally Administrative Tribal Areas (FATA).
SAWERA is also active in flood emergency relief in District Charsada.
"No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live."
Mohammad Ali Jinnah, 1944 - 'Founding Father' of Pakistan.