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Beyond Victims: Inspiring Women Political Leaders from South Asia Driving Economic Empowerment


Our third edition of the 2023 Beyond Victims Series brings you stories of inspiring women political leaders from South Asia who have been leading efforts on economic empowerment.

In this edition, we feature the remarkable stories of Nazifa Bek, Hina Rabbani Khar, and Dr. Aishath. These stories, contributed by our dedicated volunteers Vasundhra, Ishani, and Vibhuti, are a testament to the strength and resilience of women in leadership.


Let's shift the spotlight from women as mere victims to the powerful agents of change and leadership they truly are!
Shifting the narrative


Nazifa Bek

Former Member of Parliament, Afghanistan (In exile in Greece)


Nazifa Bek, Former member of Parliament, Afghanistan (In exile in Greece)


Bek is amongst the 40% of Afghanistan’s former female MPs, standing in firm opposition against the Taliban. From the Afghan province of Takhar to Greece, she has persistently worked towards women’s access to human rights, including the right to education. Despite the danger and risks of being an ex-politician from the state, she has continuously spoken against the situation in Afghanistan and is garnering international support to pressurise the Taliban by lobbying with Greece, several EU states, and Ambassador convoys, including the US, to advocate for women’s and human rights in Afghanistan.



Hina Rabbani Khar

Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Pakistan

Hina Rabbani Khar   Former Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Pakistan

Hina is a woman of many firsts, defying all odds. She is Pakistan’s youngest and first woman Foreign Minister. She became the first woman to visit Afghanistan to meet Taliban leaders. Khar is the first woman politician to present Pakistan’s budget in the assembly. She is well known for her unique foreign policy of improving relations, especially with India and Afghanistan. She also worked on reducing Pakistan's circular debt in the energy sector by implementing a circular debt management plan to clear the outstanding amounts.


The Firstpost, April 2022


Dr Aishath Ali

Minister of Education, Maldives

Dr Aishath Ali Minister of Education, Maldives

Dr. Aishath, a leader of Maldives, played an important role in establishing the first university in Maldives. She has been instrumental in the country’s partnership with the UNESCO Declaration to Protect Education from the Impact of COVID-19. She has launched many programs and policies to strengthen the education sector in Maldives and enhance teaching leadership in schools.

UNESCO, August 2020

Project Management: Vatsla Srivastava

Contributors: Vibhuti, Vasundhra and Ishani

Edited by: Sugandha

Design: Samragnee Chakraborty

Template: Vida Seraphina (https://vidaseraphina.dk/)


Thank you for reading Beyond Victims!



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.


Women for Politics is an initiative of Centre for Gender And Politics (CGAP).


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If you come across similar stories of women's leadership in South Asia, please email us at:

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