The Obama Administration must empower the Pakistani people, who have already shown that they’re ready and able to stand up against the forces oppressing women and girls in the valley of Swat and elsewhere. Here, the secretary-general of Parliamentarians for Global Action, tells us how.
On January 20th, Americans gathered on the National Mall and around their TV screens to celebrate a triumphal moment in our political process. On the same day, an equally important victory for democracy was taking place a world away in the priority battle zone against extremism.
The National Assembly of Pakistan voted unanimously to adopt a resolution condemning the assault on female education by the Taliban in the valley of Swat. Pushed by an extraordinary coalition of politicians, press and activists, the government is following through on its bold words: Pakistan's new man in uniform, General Kayani, visited Swat a week later to confirm the army's "resolve to reestablish the writ of the state."
Originally posted for The Women's Media Center , a non-profit organization founded by Jane Fonda, Gloria Steinem, and Robin Morgan, dedicated to making women visible and powerful in the media.
Shazia Z. Rafi is, since 1996, secretary-general of Parliamentarians for Global Action, a network of legislators from 125 elected parliaments, affiliated with the United Nations, with programs to promote peace, democracy, justice and sustainable development around the world. She was born in Lahore, Pakistan.
In 2004, Rady Ananda joined the growing community of citizen journalists. Initially focused on elections, she investigated the 2004 Ohio election, organizing, training and leading several forays into counties to photograph the 2004 ballots. She officially served at three recounts, including the 2004 recount. She also organized and led the team that audited Franklin County Ohio's 2006 election, proving the number of voter signatures did not match official results. Her work appears in three books.
Her blogs also address religious, gender, sexual and racial equality, as well as environmental issues; and are sprinkled with book and film reviews on various topics. She spent most of her working life as a researcher or investigator for private lawyers, and five years as an editor.
She graduated from The Ohio State University's School of Agriculture in December 2003 with a B.S. in Natural Resources.
All material offered here is the property of Rady Ananda, copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009. Permission is granted to repost, with proper attribution including the original link.
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