Staying safe in conflict zones: advice from women social entrepreneurs

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Few will remember the death of Pakistani activist and social entrepreneur Fareeda “Kokikhel” Afridi. Shot dead by extremists on her way to work, Afridi was the founder of Sawera (Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas) in a tribal region in Pakistan’s far-flung northwest hinterland.

Her work, like that of many other women social entrepreneurs in such areas, is phenomenal, yet threats and violent attacks are often the daily reality of working life, says leading human rights defender Hasina Kharbhih.

As the founder of Impulse Social Enterprises and Impulse NGO Network, which provides livelihood opportunities for vulnerable communities affected by human trafficking in North-East India, she has faced several death threats and has been assaulted in front of a local court when fighting a case.

She has developed the “Meghalaya Model” (or Impulse Model), which has helped change the lives of more than 20,000 local women artisans. But keeping an organisation thriving in such conditions can be a monumental task.

Source: The Guardian (link opens in a new window)

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