Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre

Organisation name Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre
Address 68, Tipu Block, New Garden Town, Lahore, Pakistan
Website  www.shirkatgah.org
Social media https://www.facebook.com/shirkatgahdotorg; @Shirkat_gah
Contact person / email Humaira@sgah.org.pk; shabana@sgah.org.pk
Related activities on women, peace and security Shirkat Gah – Women’s Resource Centre (SG) envisions a just, vibrant and democratic society in which women are fully empowered; human rights and dignity are enjoyed by all on the basis of equality and without discrimination, where peace prevails and resources and opportunities are ensured on a sustainable and equitable basis. Our mission is to promote a culture of peace, democracy and pluralism and resist the use of culture and religion by State and non-State actors to deny women’s rights. Shirkat Gah is a feminist organization that has been promoting women’s rights at local, provincial/national, regional and international levels since 1975. SG’s long-term agenda is to build sustainable movements for a gender just social order with state accountability from the grassroots to the global level. SG operates out of three offices, across three provinces: Lahore (Punjab), Karachi (Sindh) and Peshawar (Khyber Pakhtunkwa (KP)). Shirkat Gah also operates six Women Friendly Spaces (WFS) in all provinces, which have proved to be to an extremely successful strategic initiative. They serve as spaces for women to freely discuss issues around the VAW-peace nexus, personal status law, and the rise of religious extremism. Shirkat Gah’s started it peace and pluralism program in 2011 post the ousting of the Taliban by the Pakistan army.

Later on this program was replicated in all the women friendly spaces in all the four provinces of Pakistan.

SG has mobilized women and male youth supporters to promote women’s empowerment and a culture of peace, democracy, and pluralism. SG’s current work encompasses sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), the continuum of VAW-peace nexus, personal status law matters and research, in the areas of conflict, pluralism and cultural rights, health governance structures, available legal resources and impediments to access, climate change, and poverty/food security as they intersect with women’s lives to build evidence for SG campaigns and interventions around women’s rights.

Shirkat Gah develops strategic linkages and networks referral pathways with relevant experts and key actors in the field to strengthen advocacy efforts of individual women and local lobby groups. Shirkat Gah is already active in existing networks, including the Joint Action Committee for Peoples Rights (JAC), Women’s Action Forum (WAF), Aman Ittehad (Peace Platform), Mumkin Alliance against gender based violence, Pakistan Reproductive Health Network (PRHN), etc. For many years SG has been involved in regional and international networks and organizations such as the Asia Pacific Women’s Watch (APWW), and Women’s Health and Rights Advocacy Partnership (WHRAP) and, since 1988, SG has functioned as the Asia coordination office of the international solidarity network: Women Living Under Muslim Laws (WLUML). SG has extensive experience in transnational work, and is currently leading an international programme building women’s leadership in over 20 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa.

Shirkat Gah has evolved through self-reflection, maintaining sufficient flexibility to address the provincially specific/culturally diverse reality of women’s predicaments and sensitivities, evolving domestic politics and the impact of geo-politics on Pakistan’s society such as the rise of religious extremism today. Now located strategically to strive towards attaining social justice and act as a bridge between communities and government from the local Union Council to federal level in Pakistan as well as in regional and international forums, Shirkat Gah remains focused on safeguarding women’s rights against discriminatory patriarchal norms now strengthened by religious extremism.

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