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Maria Mahmood has spent the past 13 years improving the Pakistani police force to respond to the needs of women and girls. She is the role model for many women police officers. Photo was taken on 13 March 2021 in Islamabad, Pakistan. "When I started working as a police officer, I thought the process was simple and just. But I was shocked to see the deep-rooted bias of a patriarchal police force. The criminal justice system is discriminatory, and also stigmatizes victims of violence and does not provide efficient support for them."
In the early 2000s, suicidal attacks and explosions became a daily occurrence here in Khyber Pukhtunkhwa, north-west Pakistan. Acts of violent extremism affected everyone in my community, be it socially, economically or psychologically. Young people got recruited into violent extremist organizations (VEOs).
The first female with disabilities from Pakistan to win the much sought after U.K. Government’s Chevening scholarship, Akram has continued to push for change,...