South Asian Gulalai Ismail, is a feminist working for the empowerment of young women and peace-building in the most difficult parts of Pakistan. 10 years ago, at the age of 16, with other young women fellows she initiated “Aware Girls”; a young women-led organization working for the empowerment of young women by strengthening their leadership capacity and enabling them to work for social change and women’s empowerment, and advocate for equal access of women to health, education, governance, political participation, and other social services. Her key working areas are Strengthening Leadership Skills among Young Women, Political Participation of Young Women, HIV/AIDS Prevention among Girls and Women, Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and Peace. She is involved with different national and international networks and organizations in different capacities to promote Peace, Gender Equality, and Equity. She has served as the co-Chairperson of Youth Advocacy Network working on Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Young People; Board member of WGNRR (Women Global Network on Reproductive Rights), and is serving as the Member of Gender Working Group of UNOY (United Network of Young Peacebuilders), member of IHEYO (International Humanistic and Ethical Youth Alliance). She received Global YouthActionNet Fellowship 2009 and Paragon Fellowship 2010 for her efforts to promote HIV prevention awareness among young women of rural areas, she is a finalist of SMK: Sheila McKechnie Awards for her efforts in moderating extremism among young people. She has received the very esteemed HOW Fellowship in 2011-2012. On the 17th of July, 2013, Gulalai will receive the 2013 Democracy Award in the US Congress. She and her sister, Saba Ismail, was also named by Foreign Policy as one of the 100 leading Global Thinkers of 2013.
Aware Girls is young women-led organization working for women’s empowerment, gender equality, and peace in Pakistan. We are working to strengthen the leadership capacity of young women, enabling them to act as agents of social change and women’s empowerment in their communities.
Vision: Aware Girls envisions a world where women’s rights are as equally respected as human rights, where women have control over their own lives and have equal access to Education, Employment, Governance, Justice, Legal Support, Financial Resources, Recreation, Health– specifically Sexual and Reproductive Health, and Social Services.
Mission: The mission of Aware Girls is to empower young women, advocate for equal rights of young women, and to strengthen their capacity enabling them to act as agents of women’s empowerment and Social Change.
o To advocate for 50/50 opportunities for women in Employment, Decision making, access to Financial Resources and Social Services
o Capacity building of young women in leadership
o To promote Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Young Women and to strengthen the capacity of Community Based Organizations in Sexual and Reproductive Health.
o To organize and strengthen the capacity of young people, enabling them to actively contribute towards sustainable development, social change, women’s empowerment, equity, justice, equality, peace, non-violence and tolerance in society
• Women’s Rights and Human Rights Protection
• Combating Violence Against Women
• Strengthening Leadership and Political Empowerment of Young Women
• Promoting Youth Activism for promoting peace and combating religious extremism
• Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights of Youth especially for young women
• Economic Empowerment of Young Women