Islamabad-15 January 2019: Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, (IPD) Islamabad hosted a two-day Congress under its banner initiative Centre for Women Peace and Leadership titled “Afghanistan and Pakistan- Emerging Young Women Leaders Congress”. It is a Cross Border/Regional Level Initiative. The initiative was taken in partnership with Afghan Girls Debating Program – an initiative of Institute of Business Studies Afghanistan, and Women Regional Network with the kind support from N-Peace Network in Islamabad on January 14-15, 2019.
Ms. Andleeb Abbass, Parliamentary Secretary Ministry of Foreign Affairs Pakistan, graced the Congress as Chief Guest. Speaking on the occasion Ms. Andleeb said that women are the natural leaders and they have the key towards the peace and development of nations. It is right time that young women from both Afghanistan and Pakistan to realize their true potential and unleash their abilities to work for the development of the communities. She emphasized the need to enhance and build the women-to-women contacts for peacebuilding and joint working together for the betterment of our communities.
While speaking on the occasion, Ms. Shad Begum, Executive Director of Association for Behavior & Knowledge Transformation, shared her story of struggle as a leader of her community emphasizing that women must be the leader of their own destiny. Ms. Shad said that you cannot push someone to do something daring unless you lead. Ms. Romina Khurshid Alam, MNA and Treasurer of Women Caucuses in Parliament, while talking on the occasion said that realization of strengths, rights and responsibilities make the true leaders. She emphasized that when you are loyal to yourself then opportunities come your way.
Senator Sitara Ayyaz said that since not believing in gender specific treatments where women and men are equal in their capacities to face all the challenges in life and can overcome through their hard work. Participants from Afghanistan and Pakistan will be here for the next two days and will be building synergies with each other to promote the peace, tolerance in their communities by taking joint initiatives focusing on peacebuilding and social development of our countries.
On the second day, Afghan and Pakistani participants launched “Weave For Peace Project” and “ #YouArePowerful” Campaign and organizing Trade Exhibitions of Pakistan and Afghan Women Entrepreneurs to support sisters in duress and facing the conflict and security issues. Participants having diverse backgrounds of leading civil society organizations, enterprises, civil society activists vowed to work together to empower each other and work together to play the role to bring peace and stability in our countries.