Pakistan’s Farhat Asif has won the N-peace Award 2017 in the “Campaigning for Action” category for “her efforts to implement the Women, Peace and Security agenda, especially on the work she undertakes touching on sensitive cross-border issues” while Farhat Sajjad has been recognised for her commitment to education in the Untold Stories section.
The Kashmir-born Pakistani, Asif is the founder and president of the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies – a non-profit organisation that “aims to provide strength to global peace through dialogue and diplomacy by sharing knowledge, research, analysis and policy development in the areas of, peace-diplomacy, peace-building, conflict resolution, conflict transformation and conflict management.”
The website describes Asif as a researcher, analyst, writer, publisher and a diplomat. She is a federal member of Aman-o-Nisa; Pakistan Women’s Coalition Against Extremism and represents Pakistan at “Sisters Against Violent Extremism [SAVE]”, a project by Women Without Borders.
The award, managed by UNDP’s Bangkok Regional Hub with UNDP Offices across Indonesia, Pakistan, Myanmar, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka and the Philippines, in partnership with the Institute for Inclusive Security, recognises individuals working at policy and decision making levels who seek to promote Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) Agenda, specifically at the sub-national levels.
One woman and one man across all N-Peace countries, including Nepal, Pakistan, Myanmar, Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, are selected under the category.
The N-peace also recognised Sajjad in their Untold Stories category, describing her as a “fantastic example of someone using her position of leadership at Shining Light Community Development Organisation to not only help her local community sustain itself, but also to provide tools, knowledge, and a sense of security to women who attend the NGO, which she helped to found.”
“She truly understands the importance of education regardless of social standing, religion, or ethnicity, and the opportunity this provides for women to become economically independent.”
According to N-peace, Untold Stories “recognises the efforts of women who have demonstrated skills in conflict resolution, prevention, and peace building in their communities, including those working at the grassroots levels and building bridges across communities.”
Seven people are chosen for the category – one from each country.