Aurat Publication & Information Service Foundation
Empowering Women Peace Architects for Peace: Building Bridges, Changing Lives, Karachi


Empowering Women Peace Architects for Peace: Building Bridges, Changing Lives

Aurat Foundation successfully conducted a three-day training workshop on "Common Ground Approach (CGA)" for Women Peace Architects (WPAs) of Sindh and Balochistan at Marriott Hotel, Karachi from 22nd - 24th April, 2024. Through the training, WPAs received guidance and strengthen their capacities in peacebuilding and conflict prevention, to reflect on conflicts of their own lives. They were also able to enhance their skills and knowledge regarding counter-violent extremism in "Pakistan's context".

Ms Aya Abu Sitteh, Master Trainer, SFCG, Jordan facilitated the sessions in the CGA workshop. Aya is the Country Director, Search for Common Ground, Jordan. She is a Human rights advocate, passionate leader and eager peacebuilder for youth, women and security in the Middle East and North Africa. Expert in devising strategies, strong networking skills and policy advisor in social development. While the regional office staff of SFCG, Ms Anais Thizy, Project Officer, Regional Officer SFCG, Kyrgyzstan and Mr Kumarbek Kainazara, Regional Finance Specialist, SFCG, Kyrgyzstan was also a part of this training.

In the closing ceremony of the three-day training workshop, Mr Shahid Rahim, Program Manager, SFCG said that we are working with Aurat Foundation since 2 years now and our main focus is women empowerment and inclusion of women in decision making. As Aurat Foundation has a lot of expertise and great contributions towards women empowerment so we collaborated and designed a project in which we gathered women from all over Pakistan and created a diverse group of 75 Women Peace Architects (WPAs). We trained these women on Common Ground Approach (CGA), Transforming Violent Extremism (TVE) and Professional Leadership Skills (PLS).

Ms Shahid said that in our society women are most effected but still they are not made part of any decision making or policy making. Several factors contribute to this sidelining of women in policy-making. These include traditional gender roles and stereotypes that limit women's participation in public and political spheres, as well as structural barriers such as unequal access to education, resources, and decision-making positions.

Ms Mumtaz asked the chief guest to look for spaces present in Sindh Assembly for the inclusion of women in these peace committees. We prepared this group of 75 Women to have the appropriate skill and knowledge to perform well if they are made a part of such committees. They could know their role and how these women can play their role as dividers and connectors and how they can use this Common Ground Approach.

The Chief Guest, Ms Shaheena Sher Ali, Minister for Women Development Department, Sindh thanked Aurat Foundation for making her a part of this event. She said that she attended the first event of Aurat Foundation in 2013 and learned a lot from them. I also belong to Baloch community. The belief within the Baloch community that women cannot venture outside their homes without male accompaniment reflects a deeply entrenched patriarchal mindset. Such beliefs not only restrict women's freedom of movement but also perpetuate gender inequalities and limit their opportunities for education, employment, and participation in public life. But I broke this stereotype and stepped into politics.

She said that if we want to bring change in our society start from your home because change often begins at home. By fostering a positive and nurturing environment within our families, we can cultivate values of empathy, compassion, and respect that contribute to personal growth and strengthen family bonds.

Ms Shaheena said that Aurat Foundation has always been a great support for us in our journey. My office is always open for any service that is required by Aurat Foundation or these Women Peace Architects. She also said to ensure the inclusion of 33% women in Peace Committees.

Ms Malka Khan, Regional Manager, Aurat Foundation Closed the event with a song related to women's empowerment