Wednesday, December 9, 2015
1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800,
Washington, D.C. 20004
Livestream of the event will be available here.
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The Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) of Pakistan, which form part of the country’s northern border with Afghanistan, have long suffered from war, militancy, and economic deprivation, creating fertile ground for the “swift justice” and sharia regulations of militant Islamist groups. While the Pakistani army has had some success in wiping out extremist elements in the region, the Taliban and other Islamist forces still pose a significant threat. In this context of political instability, women and girls have often been the primary victims of extremist movements that have gained ground through patriarchal and discriminatory means. The suppression of women’s rights, however, has only added to the courage and resolve of those who have stepped forward to demand gender equality, often at the risk of isolation, torture, or even death. In her presentation, social activist Shad Begum will outline the challenges to women’s political and economic empowerment in PATA and highlight those change-makers who are surmounting them. Drawing on her experience in the region, she will provide recommendations for how best to equip emerging women leaders with the knowledge, skills, and networks needed to build a more equitable future in PATA and Pakistan.