Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender Violence

In Inspiring Change, Human Rights Defenders are Honored in KP & FATA

Date: Friday, December 9, 2016

Peshawar, Pakistan — To inspire change, all women and men need to be independent to achieve their full potential. This means freedom from all forms of discrimination, freedom to pursue all opportunities, including education, freedom to earn and spend their own income, and freedom to follow the career paths they decide they want.

Taj Mahal Bibi known as Pass Bibi, from an underprivileged family has been raising her voice for needy women and girls over the last 36 years. Photo: UN Women/Faria Salman

In honoring Human Rights Defenders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) an “Award Ceremony for Women Human Rights Defenders in KP & FATA” was organized by the local Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) Alliance and the University of Peshawar in collaboration with UN Women on 9 December in Peshawar, to commemorate International Women Human Rights Defender Day (29 November) and was part of UN Women’s 16 Days of Activism to end gender-based violence.

The recipients were nominated under several categories, and who had made recognizable contributions towards EVAWG and women’s empowerment in the region.

Ten courageous and tireless advocates lending their voices for human rights honored were: Ms. Pass Bibi (Social Worker): Mr. Aftab Mallagori (Social Activist); Mr. Aqil Muhammad (Advocate, Socio- legal Activist); Mr. Subhan Ali (Development Worker); Mr. Gohar Nangyal (Socio-political Worker); Ms. Rohi Khan Babar (Social Activist); Ms. Musarrat Ullah (Reporter); Ms. Shabnum Bibi (Human Rights Activist); Ms. Afshan Afridi (Human Rights Activist) and Ms. Shaan Bibi (Gender Equality Activist).

Also acknowledged were the efforts and services of women polio workers and females within the police force of KP & FATA.


Ms. Pass Bibi (Social Worker):
Taj Mahal Bibi known as Pass BiBi was born in Madyan, Swat in 1944. She belongs to underprivileged family has been serving her community especially needy girls and women for the last 36 years. She has been elected thrice as a Councilor in local government elections. She also worked with humanitarian and development organizations, and has volunteered her services numerous times. During times of conflict, militancy and natural disasters (floods and earthquakes) she was a voice for affected women and girls. She is also active in resolving domestic conflicts providing women with legal guidance and social support, including claiming their inheritance rights.

Aftab Mallagori (Social Activist):
Since 2005, Aftab has been working as a social activist and volunteer with different organizations like Mehergarh, Progressive Youth Forum, READ (Rights, Education, Advocacy and Development) and others. Between 2009-2010 he advocated for an end to sexual harassment of women at the workplace and convinced Parliamentarians from FATA to vote in favor of passing the ‘Protection Against Harassment of Women at Work Place Bill.’ Aftab has also been visible in many rallies speaking up for human rights, women rights, kidnapping of civil society activists, peace and against extremism.

Mr. Aqil Muhammad (Advocate, Legal Activist):
A lawyer by profession, practicing in Swabi and in Peshawar High Court. In addition to offering pro-bono legal advice to several local organization since 2003, Aqil is an active social activist working for and upholding women and human rights of marginalized segments of society. He has extended pro-bono services to many women and girls in the areas of confronting matrimonial, family issues, inheritance rights, forced and child marriages and honor killings.

Mr. Subhan Ali (Development Worker):
Subhan possess a vast experience of working with the HIV/AIDs community and advocates for their human rights. As a Project Manager for a local organization Subhan is implementing the HIV/AIDs Program funded by the National Aids Control Program Pakistan. With a Masters in Finance Subhan has diverse experience of working on health and humanitarian projects since 2009 at district and provincial level. An active member of many civil society networks, he raises his voice for marginalized people at different forums.

Mr. Gohar Nangyal (Socio-political Worker):
Born in Zarobai village of district Swabi, Gohar is a socio-political worker promoting the development of peace, gender equality, human rights, inter faith harmony and socio-economic uplift of his society. Gohar continues to raise his voice against gender based discrimination and domestic violence against women and right, and works to educate girls through social media and his writings.

Ms. Rohi Khan Babar (Social Activist):
Roohi is working with the only private shelter home and referral network for women and girl survivors in KP. This facility offers direct intervention for protection and empowerment of survivors of gender based violence, and promotes awareness and education on fundamental human rights. Through the shelter home, she facilitates survivors to be registered with the network, provides them with free legal aid, and works to train community groups on prevention, response and advocacy to end violence against women.

Mr. Musarrat Ullah (Reporter):
Working as a reporter for a National News TV Channel in KP, Peshawar Bureau, Musarrat is amongst the pioneers who initiated writing in Urdu [national language], blogs, articles and columns on different emerging social-political, fundamental human rights, and women rights. He continues to extended his services in highlighting women rights violation and upholding rights for all.

Ms. Shabnum Bibi (Writer and Human Rights Activist):
Shabnum is from a strict family background and paralyzed but never gave up and used her writings to highlight the issues of women; she has published two books.

Ms. Afshan Afridi (Human Rights Activist):
Afshan is a physically challenged disabled woman who is fighting for the rights of others with disabilities since 2013. With a BS Hons in Microbiology she is now pursuing a M. Phil in Microbiology alongside being a Provincial Coordinator role with the National Forum of Women With Disabilities. Afshan is also a Program Manager with the Centre for Rehabilitation of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and an Executive Member of Friends Of Paraplegics (FOP) and the Special Life Foundation (SLF). She is also an acclaimed master trainer in social development and disability. In 2016 Afhsan was awarded the ‘Huner-e-Hawa’ and ‘Young Energetic Soul’ awards from the Government of KP.

Ms. Shaan Bibi (Human Rights Activist):
Shaan Bibi is a champion of the ‘Purple Women Movement’ in Swat, a movement initiated by Shirkat Gah in 2012. Shaan Bibi has stopped many early child marriages in communities, engages and educates male family and community members in preventing and ending domestic violence against women, and has supported members of her community in accessing and benefiting from public administrative facilities.

For more information contact:

Faria Salman
Strategic Management and Partnerships Officer &
Head of Communications for UN Women Pakistan