Reclaiming the Progressive Past: Pakistani women’s struggle against violence & extremism. (Winter 2014)

2013 was another year of contradictions for Pakistan. On May 11, 2013 the General Elections were held successfully. Despite fears of violence, low voter turnout, and lack of transport, millions of people –including women — came to the polls across the country.

This report highlights the impact of the prevailing security environment on Pakistani women, especially in conflict-stricken areas. It also reflects the positive strides women are making for participation and voice in the country. Drawing on the expertise and insight of practitioners in women’s rights, peace and security, ICAN puts current trends into context and offers recommendations for action by national and international actors to alleviate the conditions that foster extremism.

“Peace is the condition for the fullness of life but it has vanished from my soil.”

-Swat Valley based mother

What The Women Say

“ We are not a project. It is a matter of life for millions of people.”

— Woman peacebuilder

What The Women Say

“ Help us talk, don't just arm us to kill.”

— Syrian woman activist

What The Women Say

“Do not tell us that it’s not time to fight for our rights. There’s no convenient time; we have to always be fighting.”

— Pakistani women’s rights activist

What The Women Say

“State prisons are feeding the pool of foreign fighters… many are radicalized during incarceration.”

— Tajik woman lawyer

What The Women Say

“I say Jihad is not spilling or wasting blood in the streets, it is giving blood in hospitals to people who need it.”

— Iraqi woman peacebuilder

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