Our fourth edition of the 2023 Beyond Victims Series brings you stories of inspiring women leaders who have been leading change in South Asia.
This edition features the remarkable stories of Naheed Farid, Dr Aisha Ghaus, Sita Gurung, Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary and Rohini Kumar Wijerathna. These stories, contributed by our dedicated volunteers Vasundhra, Ishani, and Saji, are a testament to women's leadership strength and resilience.
Former Minister in Parliament of Afghanistan- Youngest minister, in-exile
Naheed is the youngest former elected parliamentarian of Afghanistan. She is an advocate for women's and children's rights. She also ran an NGO for the development of children, women, and rural communities. She advocated for women’s rights to education and to end violence against women. Naheed was instrumental in getting reserved seats for women in elections, establishing six months of maternity leave, and making it mandatory to have the mother’s name on a birth certificate.
– George W Bush Presidential Center, August 2013
Dr Aisha Ghaus
Pakistan Muslim League - Minister of State for Finance and Revenue
Dr. Aisha is an economist and one of the five women in Pakistan’s PM cabinet. She proposed and implemented macroeconomic and structural policies to minimize economic imbalances, foster long-lasting inclusive growth, and generate employment opportunities. Through her work, she has empowered many women in Pakistan and continues to do so by contributing to sustainable economic growth in Pakistan.
Association Press of Pakistan, August 2022 and National Assembly Of Pakistan, February 2022
Nepali Congress Party - Minister of Urban Development
Sita Gurung stood as the sole woman candidate for the 2017 Federal Elections in the eastern district of Tehrathum in Neal. Being the only woman to be elected to the House of Representatives via FPTP in 2022, she has strongly criticised Nepal’s deep-rooted patriarchy for holding back gender inclusivity in politics. She has vehemently advocated the importance of disaster preparedness, directing the provision of housing facilities to homeless citizens due to natural and fire-induced disasters in 2023.
Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhary
Bangladesh Awami League - Speaker of the house
As an MP and the first woman Speaker of the House, Dr Chaudhary has actively promoted, advocated, and facilitated women's empowerment and human rights in Bangladesh. Her policies focused on various issues concerning increasing women’s social security, including adding allowances for widows, women on maternity leave, and lactating mothers. Linking empowerment and economic independence with women’s entrepreneurial capacity and upliftment from poverty, she believes in the power of gender-based education towards inclusive economic development.
Rohini Kumar Wijerathna
Member of Parliament - Sri Lanka
Wijerathna has addressed the need to update and reform the educational curricula in Sri Lanka. Stating the importance of youth entering politics, especially women, she realises the role played by existing politicians in changing male domination in politics and motivating the masses to vote for women candidates. Believing that patriarchal beliefs hinder greater representation, she proposes a separate legislation requiring a significant percentage of women candidates in the nomination and national lists.
Project Management: Vatsla Srivastava
Contributors: Vasundhra, Ishani and Saji
Edited by: Sugandha
Design: Samragnee Chakraborty
Template: Vida Seraphina (https://vidaseraphina.dk/)
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This year’s Beyond Victims series will span five editions, covering stories of inspiring women’s political leadership across 5 different themes. Get them in your inbox by joining our mailing list.
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