In a few weeks, I will be heading out to Peshawar, Pakistan to spend my summer working with the Afghan Women’s Network (AWN) through The Advocacy Project (AP). Although I’ve visited Pakistan a few times, my most recent trip being in December 2005, I have never worked there, been there during the summer, or visited for an extended period of time.
My goals for the summer are to learn more about the Afghan Women’s Network and to work with Leeda Yuqoobi, the Office Manager for AWN Peshawar, to help the organization promote its mission of empowering Afghan women and ensuring their equal participation in society. I am counting on my familiarity with Peshawar and knowlege of the culture and politics of the North West Frontier Province (N.W.F.P.) of Pakistan to be a valuable asset to the organization.
One of my best resources thus far has been the blogs of previous AWN interns in Kabul, Afghanistan. While I will be interning at the AWN office in Peshawar, the other past intern’s blogs have helped me learn more about the organization and its projects such as conducting women’s voting rights awareness campaigns and lobbying for gender equality in schools in Afghanistan. Since AP has never sent a Fellow to the AWN Peshawar office, their experiences have been my main tool in trying to visualize my summer. Although Kabul and Peshawar are very different cities, Peshawar is home to many Afghan refugees and is similar to Kabul with respect to its religious conservatism. Since I am the first AWN Peshawar Peace Fellow, no real precedent has yet been set at AWN Peshawar. I intend on taking my responsibilities quite seriously and hope to set a high standard for future AWN Fellows while also experiencing a productive and enjoyable summer in Pakistan.
Posted By Saba Haq
Posted May 22nd, 2007