WWOP celebrated this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) with the resolve to reach out to more women with new knowledge and resources.
A grand ceremony was organized on Thursday, March 10, 2016 at the Royal Continental Hotel, Muzaffarabad, to celebrate the tremendous achievements and genius of women in Azad Jammu and Kashmir – by Women Welfare Organization Poonch (WWOP).
Supported by UN-Women, this event highlighted struggles as well as successes of many brave women leaders from the region. More than two hundred women and men participated in the event.
WWOP recognized the highly committed female heroes who are making great contributions to the cause of women empowerment. Because of courageous efforts and successful leadership, these women have become a role model for everyone, particularly young girls in the AJK region. WWOP presented mementos to women of courage from AJK.
Here is a brief introduction of women leaders who were awarded in the event.
Farzana Yaqoob (Minister, Social Welfare and Women’s Development AJK)
A prominent political leader, she has initiated several benchmark projects that are significantly empowering women at the grassroots level. She is always at the forefront for women development.
Midhat shehzad (Joint Secretary, Ministry of Kashmir Affairs)
A peace activist by commitment, she has represented the women of AJK on several national and international forums. Her leadership role is behind the success of many social initiatives.
Tanveer Latif (Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Government of Pakistan)
For years, Ms Latif has been making great contribution in the field of education. Because of her long illustrious career, she was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan. She helped hundreds of women to learn and supported many initiatives for promotion of female literacy.
Dr. Bushra Shams (Gender Advisor, UNWOMEN)
Dr Shams has been promoting the cause of women’s rights for several decades. Her contribution to strengthen platforms for dialogue on gender issues is widely acknowledged including development of GDF and CEDAW Committee in AJK. She has also played a key role in formulation of legislation against harassment and domestic violence in AJK.
Syeda Najma Shakoor (President, Women Welfare Organization Poonch)
From rehabilitating a small rundown school in her village to establishing the largest women-based, development organization in Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Syeda Najma Shakoor is a true symbol of commitment and dedication. Her organization now has around twenty five thousand women members and millions of direct and indirect beneficiaries.
Nargas Aftab Raja (ex Chairperson, Kashmir Tribunal)
She has served the judiciary in AJK for sixteen years on various positions including Traffic Magistrate, Forest Magistrate, Judge Family Court, Additional District Judge, Session Judge etc.
Tabinda Kokab (Radio Producer, BBC)
A career media person, her voice is familiar to millions of people in the valley. Starting from AJK radio, her journalistic talents soon took her to AJK TV, and later on to one of the most respected media organizations in the world, the BBC Radio. Her stories reflect a deep commitment towards women empowerment and became catalyst for several transformations in the community.
Dr. Anum Najum (SMO CMH Muzafarabad)
A medical practitioner by profession, Dr Anjum is the voice of disabled persons in the valley. . She faced the challenges of disability herself but never gave up her dream sto create a better world.
Fehmida Farid (Academic)
A Masters Degree holder in English and Economics, she is a living example of courage and commitment. Now pursuing an M Phil and have plans to contribute even more for students with disabilities.
Nasreen Aziz (Teacher, Government School chairperson Chirag e Manzil foundation)
Despite her disability, this women leader from AJK is providing education to hundreds of children for many years. She is facing life’s challenges with dedication and carrying on with passion to motivate numerous others.For years, she has been advocating for improvements in the quality of life of the disabled persons
Rahat Farooq Raja (Lawyer, Supreme Court)
Her contribution in the field of women’s access to justice is remarkable. She is a member of Commission on the Status of Women, SOS Village and the bioethics committee. She is also the legal advisor of Women Chamber of Commerce.
A widow with four children, she was faced with unexpected challenges in life that led her to even greater strengths. She ventured into a territory, restricted solely for men, and made her mark in a short period of time. From 2007, her cable network is growing rapidly to become a business success phenomenon in AJK.
A Young courageous lady who was the first female employee of WWOP and currently running a kids Montessori. She is facing the severe health challenges from last two years but never gave up her passion.