Reclaiming the Progressive Past: Pakistani women’s struggle against violence and extremism

Winter, 2014

Key Points from ICAN’s Pakistan brief:

  • Pakistan was founded with a progressive vision, but pluralism has been eroded by the rise of fundamentalism, extremism, and violence.
  • The status of women in Pakistan is a key indicator of social cohesion and tolerance in the country. Peace and security, especially for women, has declined with regressive laws, conservative education, political violence, displacement, and economic hardship.
  • Despite rising insecurity and militancy, women have continued to struggle for equal rights, protection from violence, and public participation.
  • Women are taking increasingly active roles as leaders in politics and civil society, where they are countering extremist ideology and promoting an alternative vision for Pakistan based on peace, security, and development.

Read the full brief here.


Mossarat Qadeem

Mossarat has over 22 years of experience in education, research, training, and specialized expertise in training manual development and conduct of trainings mainly in the area of decentralization, political participation of women, good governance, women leadership development, gender development, peace building, conflict transformation, interfaith dialogue, women’s peace and security, and UNSCR 1325. Mossarat is the founder and executive director of PAIMAN Trust, which is the only political and economic network of women legislatures, social political female activists, and potential young female leaders from Pakistan. PAIMAN works on conflict transformation and peacebuilding. The organization works towards its goal by holding meaningful interventions throughout different communities. PAINAM also issues training for parliamentarians, and NGO member. From the platform of PAIMAN, Mossarat has formed women and youth peace groups in FATA and Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and has built their capacities in conflict transformation, peace-building and leadership using the indigenous methods. The organization also makes documentaries in the field of gender and development and women’s conflict.  Mossarat had also formed Amn-O-Nisa, which is the Pakistan Coalition of Women Moderating Extremism.

Kishwar Sultana

Kishwar Sultana is director of Insan Foundation, whose programs focus on gender equality and women’s empowerment, advocacy and research, and children’s leadership development. She is also a co-founder of the Women’s Action for Peace (WAP) coalition that has mobilized grassroots women in support of peace and violence prevention and UNSCR 1325 implementation across conflict affected settings in Pakistan. A consultant to numerous NGOs and international development organizations, Ms. Sultana is currently working as a gender adviser for Communication for Effective Social Service Delivery, which is undertaking a project on water supply and sanitation, education, and health in eight districts of the Northwest Frontier Province. Insan Foundation also works with 40,000 Afghan refugees in that region. Ms. Sultana is providing technical assistance to the Pakistani government for implementation of the Gender Reform Action Plan, mandated to mainstream gender in eight government departments, and is also a member of a government committee on post-conflict assessment. A member of UNIFEM’s Afghanistan/Pakistan Dialogue on Women, Peace and Security and Implementation of Security Council Resolution 1325 in Pakistan, Ms. Sultana is the author of a paper about UNSCR 1325 that focuses on issues of gender-based violence and refugee camps covered in Articles 10 and 12. She is an active member of the CEDAW Committee of NGOs, and her research on gender sensitivity in government employment will be part of CEDAW’s shadow report to the UN. From 2004 to 2008, she was gender and communication coordinator for the Canadian International Development Agency’s Devolution Support Project. Ms. Sultana is the author of several booklets on women and human rights issues. She is also an artist and illustrator of children’s books and has a master’s degree in geography from University of the Punjab.

Insan Foundation

INSAN_logoInsan Foundation objectives are to enable diverse communities, public and private institutions, civil society organizations, youths and women groups to demonstrate gender equality, women’s empowerment, negotiated peace, diversity and tolerance in social, political and economic fields.




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