Pakistan

The Politics of Participation: Women and Transformative Leadership

March 18, 2008

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The 21st century is the century for women and politics. Six extraordinary grassroots leaders from four regions of the world discuss practical strategies and culture friendly initiatives that they have used to mobilize women, and especially young women, to participate in making decisions that affect their lives and the lives of their communities.

Khadija Haq on Women’s Political and Economic Empowerment in South Asia

March 4, 2006

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Women comprise a mere 7% of parliamentary seats in the South Asian region, which is half the world average of 14%. South Asian governments are beginning to take steps to increase women’s political participation through the establishment of quota systems at national and local levels. The one-third quota, however, needs to be instituted in all legislative, judiciary, and executive bodies at all levels, starting at the national level. This has yet to happen. Without a critical mass of women in national decision-making positions, South Asian women’s concerns will remain marginalized. Instituting quota systems is nevertheless only one step towards female political empowerment. We are still facing deep-rooted patriarchal traditions and attitudes that limit opportunities for women’s participation in public life. Rising communalism, religious fundamentalism, and conservatism are major limiting factors for women’s security and freedom.

Women and Leadership in Muslim Societies: Voices for Change

March 3, 2006

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International women leaders challenged stereotypes associated with Muslim women and discussed possibilities for strengthening the role of women in creating democratic and pluralistic societies in the Muslim world.

Women and Leadership in Muslim Societies: Voices for Change

November 25, 2002

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Prominent women leaders discussed women's leadership and strategies for expanding women's political participation in Muslim societies. Panelists included Mahnaz Afkhami (Iran), Ayesha Imam (Nigeria), Asma Khader (Jordan), Thoraya Obaid (Saudi Arabia), Shirin Tahir-Kheli (Pakistan), and Azar Nafisi (Iran, Moderator).

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