EQUALITY for Peace and Democracy (EPD) jointly with Aware Girls (the partner from Pakistan) conducted a five-day workshop from Sep. 17 to Sep. 22, on “Digital Story Development” in Islamabad, Pakistan. This workshop facilitated one to one connections between Afghanistan and Pakistan peace activists to share real stories of experience and hardships women face as a result of violent extremism and radicalization and how to counter radicalization. During this workshop, the peace activists worked with their counterparts from the other country on how they can share their experience of peace building at very grass-root to national and regional levels. The participants were trained on preparing script and creating video on women’s experience of radicalization and women’s conflict resolution. They reflected real stories of the peace activists pertaining to impact of radicalization on their lives and how they counter it. The stories will be available online to create more awareness about the impact of radicalization on women, role of women of Afghanistan and Pakistan in countering radicalization and importance of including women in peace building processes.
The organizations have already established two networks of Afghan and Pakistani peace activists where peace activists created alliances for women-led peace building initiatives. The members are in contact with each other and have met during two peace exchanges through which ideas, thoughts and experiences were shared to come up with solid recommendations to achieve stable peace in the region. Inputs of the two peace exchanges and the research on “Impact of Radicalization on Women, in Pakistan and Afghanistan: Women’s Shared Responses to Radicalization” were incorporated to develop a strategy paper to change policies for women inclusion and enhancing women-led peace building initiatives.
On September 22, 2017 a press conference were organized to launch the research report and the strategy paper in Pakistan. The event covered presenting the research report, strategy paper, panel session and screening the videos created by the peace activists during the workshop on digital story development.
Ms. Qayumi delivered a brief presentation on the main finding of the research report. The report presents different types of violence women face in both countries as a result of violent extremism and radicalization. It also contains touching stories of women who have struggled with precarious situation due to conflict and instability in rural areas.
The panel discussion was headed by Jamila Gilani (Member of Pakistan National Assembly), Farzana Bari (Professor at Quaid Azam University and Chairperson of Gender Studies Department), Ambreen (Directory of Bedari Foundation), Fatima (Manager at Bytes for all), Afrasiab Khattak (Ex-Senator of Awami National Party) to discuss the strategy paper.
For more information please download the research report through the following link: