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Making Local Voices a Part of the Global Talk

Bharki, from a tribal village in Pakistan holding her badge proudly after being selected as a local facilitator

Celebrating 16 Days of Activism with the tribal women of Pakistan

In my life I have continuously interacted with two very different worlds… My work for instance takes me to scenarios highly varying from each other… times when surrounded by sober looking men with curly beards and angry eyes that are wrinkled on sides by continuous fierce gazes in a small village of Balochistan for a mobilization meeting of Sughar and times when women in skirts walk around talking to each other, even talking to men, sipping from hot black coffee talking about women status, women roles in politics and business in a meet-up at Washington DC.

The distinction in all this amazes me tremendously at times but yet the biggest time of amazement for me and my team is when at the very same time of the year one of these groups of people starts talking highly of the other but without notifying them exactly. I am talking about the international days of Human Rights, International Day for Women and yes the very times of coming 16 days of Activism on violence against women.

The irony of this situation is even humorous at times as those for whom the world fights for demanding their rights and their status, are not even aware of any such thing as a campaign against honor killings or Domestic Violence.

In Sughar Women Program, of Participatory Development Initiatives (PDI) our daily interaction is with the tribal communities of Pakistan towards providing socio-economic empowerment to women by women entrepreneurship to end violence in the name of honor. I remember our recent gathering with the women in a community where we shared about the coming 16 days of activism when activists would fight strongly on their case to rid them of violence and from injustice, and everyone merely shook their heads, knowing nothing about all this……This time, though we knew that something ought to be done, but with a very unique plan of action!

We have thus decided to bring for the first time, my two different worlds together! We are going to celebrate the coming 16 days of activism with the tribal women of Sindh and Balochistan and plan to take their voices to the global talk! We plan to do this by creating a small video (max 2 minutes) everyday for the 16 days, of a talk given by a tribal woman in the communities where we work, in which she talks directly to the activists, to the civil society and to the government demanding her rights and claiming her space in sphere of activism!

We at Sughar have recently partnered with Media Voice Films in Pakistan who have shown amazing skills in making films for social change! This group have dedicatedly took the responsibility of creating the videos while another partnership with Take Back the Tech in Pakistan and Bytes for All that focuse on digital advocacy are planning to help us get the videos across to millions of people in a day! We hope to build further the chain of collaborations to seek support in reaching out to more and more people who watch these videos and connect with the part of the world that has been far way for long!

We are really excitedly preparing for the coming 16 days of activism but more excited and proud are the women who plan to reach out to the world on behalf of all the other women in their community! Let their excitement and pride win by joining us in launching these videos every single day of the 16 days to your networks and groups of people you are connected with! Join us today on facebook to confirm your participation in this exciting plan to take local voices to the global talk! https://www.facebook.com/SugharWomen

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