Nuzhat Kidvai is by profession a teacher, a teacher trainer and is an Education Technology Consultant to schools.
She has been involved in Human Rights issues since the 1970’s. She started acting in plays in the 1980s, staged by Tehreek-e-Niswan – a feminist organization, which uses theatre for disseminating its message of women’s rights and social justice.
She has been a member of Women’s Action Forum (WAF), and a part of Women’s Movement in Pakistan since 1984. She has been a member of its Working Committee for many years.
WAF came into being when women stood up together on one platform to protest the discriminatory Hudood laws introduced during the most oppressive marshal law of General Zia-ul-Haq. That protest led to the birth of the Women’s Movement in Pakistan. WAF’s uniqueness lies in its being a non-hierarchical, non-funded, non-partisan and a non- aligned organization that works through consensus building. She has been involved ever since in raising awareness, lobbying for repeal of all discriminatory and Hudood laws and fighting for women’s rights in Pakistan.
She is a Founder member of WAR Against Rape that was formed out of a rising need to protect, support and provide emotional, psychological and Legal Aid to survivors due to the growing incidences of rape.
She has participated in and spoken on various forums, appeared on the media to argue, advocate and discuss issues related to women’s rights and violence against women. As a member of WAR, has participated in International conferences & been on a mission in conflict zones to report on the impact of conflict on women and children and its links to rising violence.
It is during these years as a member of WAF and WAR Against Rape that she came to see the impact of laws, cruelties perpetuated in the name of religious and cultural practices. During extending help & support Nuzhat Kidvai gained experience of the situation and needs of women victims. She fully understands the impact of rampant violence and heavily loaded laws against women.
Again, it is experience that has helped her see the impact of divide and rule policies of dictatorial regimes, fragmenting of society, disenfranchising and marginalizing women, use of fear, religion and cruel cultural practices through which promote violence and patriarchal structures to control women.
It is years of involvement that have helped Nuzhat identify and analyze the needs of women who have suffered violence & the policies, laws, facilities and support structures that are essential to tackle & eradicate violence against women.
Most importantly, working with survivors has helped Nuzhat develop an insight into the fine line that makes one woman a victim and helps another become a survivor.
PeaceNiche, a not-for-profit NGO, registered under the Societies Act of 1860, is committed to becoming a vibrant centre of Pakistan’s developing civil society. PeaceNiche is a social entrepreneurship project that blends the best of business practice with the non-profit urge to make meaning rather than focusing purely on the bottom line.
- Community Space for Conversation and Dialogue
- Platform for Debates, Discussions, Talks, and Creative/Performing Arts
- Mentoring Space
As part of our ongoing commitment to creative expression, we are delighted to announce the launch of Faraar, a new media and art gallery for artists, photographers, and graphic designers. Other PeaceNiche initiatives include Science Ka Adda and the Urdu Poetry Preservation project.
Take Back The Tech! is a collaborative campaign that takes place during the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence (25 Nov – 10 Dec). It is a call to everyone – especially women and girls – to take control of technology to end violence against women.
Take Back the Tech! is a collaborative campaign to reclaim information and communication technologies (ICT) to end violence against women (VAW). This initiative was made possible through a small grant provided under the MDG3 project by Bytes for All and P@SHA.
The campaign calls on all ICT users – especially women and girls – to take control of technology and strategically use any ICT platform at hand (mobile phones, instant messengers, blogs, websites, digital cameras, email, podcasts and more) for activism against gender-based violence.
Take Back the Tech! accompanies the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence (November 25 – December 10 each year) with daily actions that explore different aspects of violence against women and ICT tools.
In 2005, APC WNSP developed research papers that looked at the connection between ICT and VAW, an issue that received little attention or discussion at that time. From sharing the findings with women’s rights and communication rights advocates in different spaces, APC WNSP found this to be a critical issue that compelled further attention and deeper engagement. Take Back the Tech! was initiated as as one of the ways of doing this, and sets out to:
- Create safe digital spaces that protect everyone’s right to participate freely, without harassment or threat to safety.
- Realise women’s rights to shape, define, participate, use and share knowledge, information and ICT.
- Address the intersection between communication rights and women’s human rights, especially VAW.
- Recognise women’s historical and critical participation and contribution to the development of ICT.
In 2008, Take Back the Tech! was awarded an honorary mention in the Digital Communities category of the prestigious Prix ArsElectronica International Competition for Cyber Arts for its innovative, collaborative campaign to end violence against women.
Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT and ITES (P@SHA) was initiated by a number of software houses in an attempt to create a functional trade association for the IT industry in Pakistan. Aiming to protect the rights of its members; P@SHA lobbied with the government to initiate policies and create an environment that would attract more firms to join the industry. Over the course of the last fifteen years, P@SHA has broadened its scope to include other IT enabled services companies such as Internet Service Providers, Call Centers etc.
Today over three hundred and fifty companies are active members of P@SHA, thus demonstrating how in the long run P@SHA has achieved its aim to help firms establish themselves providing assistance to help them gain access to potential clients, locally and internationally.
P@SHA acts as a voice of the industry.Over the years it has dealt with issues that no company could manage single handedly; such as providing input on policies , legislation and incentives related to the industry, for organizations in the IT industry. Sponsored career events and salary surveys are also conducted regularly to assist in the growth of a dynamic sector.
P@SHA has made consistent efforts to ensure that the right policy frame works are employed for continued growth and development. The Government is also being encouraged to act as a facilitator in creating a certain consistency in growth rates. Efforts to promote Pakistan’s IT industry internationally are being channeled through trade and technical delegations sent to all corners of the world.
P@SHA has gained international recognition by having won several awards in the Asia Pacific ICT awards. Pakistani companies are involved in leading edge work, thereby helping the software; services and outsourced industry grow at an enormous pace.
Bytes for All is a networked space for citizens in South Asia. It experiments, highlights and organizes debate on the relevance of ICT to development activities. South Asia – often considered as an ICT powerhouse, is also the home of highest number of poor people in the World. Poverty is not just about income or GDP, its also about human development, access to better life, education, health, opportunities, empowerment and human rights. In human development index, South Asia doesn’t stand brighter either.
We do not want to create the hype that technology will solve all the problem overnight. Rather we emphasize that causes to poverty are related to socio-political issues such as, un-equal distribution mode of a society, unfair trade regime, lack of good governance etc. Then what technology can do? We believe, technology can play an important role in facilitating the objectives of this socio-political solutions. Therefore when we talk about ICT solutions to poverty, we are not devoid of context and reality. We refer ICT as a process that can help achieving certain objectives more effectively, quickly and without the need of any gate keeper. To our view, ICT doesn’t replace the need of good governance or people’s rights to get equal opportunities, rather ICT can complement this process. When you read Bytes for All, please understand this is our spirit.
We promote gender equality in the design, development, implementation, access to and use of ICTs and in the policy decisions and frameworks that regulate them.
We are part of the “Association for Progressive Communications (Association for Progressive Communications)”: http://www.apc.org, an international network of civil society organizations dedicated to empowering and supporting groups and individuals working for peace, human rights, development and protection of the environment, through the strategic use ICTs, including the Internet.
Our network numbers over 150 women from more than 35 countries. They are individual women and women’s groups and organisations working in the field of gender and ICT and actively supporting women’s networking. Our members have formed themselves into regional networks in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and Latin America.
Our programme members are specialists in areas such as training, information facilitation, technical work and policy issues. Many work on a voluntary basis and are mostly experienced network users rather than formally-trained ICT experts. We come from different backgrounds: among us are activists on issues such as housing, environmental protection and women’s health; librarians, journalists, web developers, trainers, technicians, and user support providers. Some of us work for Internet Service/Content Service Providers (ISP/CSP) that are members of the Association For Progressive Communications. Some are independent activists, and some are members of women’s organisations.