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Sharing Women’s Responses to Radicalization in Afghanistan and Pakistan

Activities

The purpose of this project was to enhance women’s exchange between Afghanistan and Pakistan for countering radicalization and building peace in both countries, to create platform for harbouring bridges between women peace activists of Pakistan and Afghanistan, enabling women-women exchange of learning and strategizing together for countering radicalization and peacebuilding. Under this project a network “Pak-Af Pul-e-Niswaan Baraye Aman” was created through which two exchange programs were organized for Pak-Af women peace activists providing the opportunity to women activists to build linkages and develop a better understanding of the impact and women’s responses to radicalization and violent extremism, and a Strategy Paper on “Women-Women Exchanges for Countering Radicalization” was published at the end of the project, to be used as a global advocacy document for promoting more women-women exchanges/linkages and co-operation for countering radicalization.”

Outcomes

During this project EPD partnered with Aware Girls (an NGO based in Pakistan) to conduct a research using Focus Group Discussion, Interviews, Story Collecting, and Secondary Data analysis to document impact of radicalization/violent extremism on women and women’s responses to the issue. The research acted as a resource and rationale for civil society to develop programs for peace building focussing on engaging women as partners in peace building, and was used as an advocacy tool to advocate for inclusion of women in peace building process at all levels.

 A women’s peace activists’ network was established bringing together women peace activists of Pakistan and Afghanistan together. The network consisted of 20 women peace activists from each implementing country and functioned as a platform to build linkages, develop ideas together, advocate for women’s participation in peace building and understand concerns relating to relations between two countries.

The project included two Exchange Program named as “Pak-Af Pul-e-Niswan Baraye Aman”; one in Afghanistan and one in Pakistan. For each exchange program, 2 groups of 30 women peace activists were developed to work for documenting women’s experience of radicalization and the way the cope with it.  Additionally, the peace activists were trained on “Use of Digital Stories to Strengthen Women to Women Linkages in Pak-Af Region” to visualize women’s experience of radicalization. The digital stories in this regard were prepared and were screened during the exchange programs.

These exchange programs also were used as an opportunity to conduct consultation with women peace activists for “Strategy Paper on Increasing Women-Women Connects for Countering Radicalization in Afghanistan”. The draft of strategy paper was published and disseminated via the networks of partners and stakeholders of each organisation.