Monday, July 9, 2012

Remember: Farida Afridi, Women's Rights Advocate Murdered in Rural Pakistan

Farida Afridi. Photo Credit: Christine Crowstaff, PCDN
Women Without Borders joins the Peace & Collaborative Development Network (PCDN), Members of the Alliance for Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (EVAWG) and organizations around the world in condeming the brutal murder of Farida Afridi, a visionary women's rights activist in Pakistan and the co-founder of SAWERA (Society for Appraisal & Women Empowerment in Rural Areas), with her sister Noorzia. News channels report that Farida was shot dead by militants this Friday, July 6th on her way to work. Farida was 25, and an impassioned voice for women -- leading dialogues on peace and security, trainings on conflict resolution, and conversations with local elders on women's rights under Islam -- all unheard of in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the mountainous region less than 50 miles from the turbulent border with Afghanistan.

SAWERA is an independent, women-run NGO, and a Safeworld Field Partner in Pakistan, providing women in rural Pakistan with support and community training around issues of security, empowerment and conflict resolution. Farida's sister and co-founder, Noorzia, continues to head the organization.

We add our statement to the many international voices demanding accountability for this brutal murder, and send our most heartfelt condolences -- from the Women Without Borders/SAVE network to Farida's family, loved ones, and community. Her courageous and all too short life will be remembered -- and serve as a candle to light the fire of even greater efforts for women's empowerment in the face of security and safety threats worldwide.

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