• Islamabad, Pakistan
  • +92-(0)51- 23 23 281
  • abkt.pakistan@gmail.com
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Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT)

Founder / CEO


Deeply influenced by the social inequalities around her and inspired by her father’s social work in her early age, Shad Begum would become a known figure nationally and internationally because of her determined struggle to improve the conditions of the marginalized segments, especially women, of her community in the northwest of Pakistan – a deeply religious and conservative area where Taliban publically executed men and women on non-conformity to their version of Islam. Shad Begum is the founder and executive director of the non-profit Association for Behaviour & Knowledge Transformation (ABKT). Her organization was uprooted during the Taliban take-over in Swat due to massive displacement of people in 2009-2010. Her resilience kept ABKT alive during enormous odds. Shad Begum is Ashoka fellow and in recognition of her untiring struggle for the economic and political empowerment of women and girls in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; she was awarded the “International Woman of Courage Award” in 2012 by the U.S. Department of State.




  • Certificate of recognition for "Outstanding Contribution to Food Production & Household Food Security" by the Prime Minister of Pakistan
  • "Best Social Worker Award", Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Directorate of Social Welfare & Women Development Department
  • ASHOKA life time fellowship ASHOKA international, Washington DC
  • Prize for "Creativity in Rural Life" by Women’s World Summit Foundation (WWSF) Geneva
  • International Woman of Courage Award 2012 from State Department United States of America (USA)
  • Awarded for "Valuable Contribution to Youth Empowerment & Peace Promotion in Pakistan", by CHANAN Development Association (CDA)
  • CHOLISTAN Award 2012-2013 from Cholistan Development Council Bahawalpur, Pakistan on account of "Best Services in the Social and Development Sector"
  • Fall 2015 Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow http://www.ned.org/fellows/ms-shad-begum/

​​Shad Begum in the media:

  • equipoise news volume 19: On March 8, 2012, Ms. Shad Begum from Pakistan received the prestigious Secretary of State’s Award for International Women of Courage, presented by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and First Lady Michelle Obama. The award recognizes women around the globe who show exceptional courage and leadership in advocating for women’s rights and empowerment, often at great personal risk. Read more
  • The Wyoming Council for International Visitors: Ms. Shad Begum of Pakistan (L) addressed the Teton County School District students and learned about Wyoming programs from organizations such as Wyoming Women’s Foundation, Leap Into Leadership, and Soroptimists of Jackson Hole. Advocating for peace and equal rights in her home region, Ms Begum...Read more

  • Aaj News : Pakistani activist gets US’ Women of Courage Award: A Pakistani political rights activist Shad Begum and an Afghan women’s radio station owner are among 10 honorees chosen by the U.S. State Department as 2012 International Women of Courage. Read more 

  • Central Asia Online: Shad Begum a symbol of courage for Pashtun girls - Recipient of International Woman of Courage Award continues jihad for women. Read more

  • The Express Tribune: Shad Begum: The other golden lady...Read more

  • The Lovely Planet: Shad Begum: A brave lady from Pakistan...Read more

  • Awid Women's Rights: Pakistan: Taking A Stand: Shad Begum Vows To Continue Fighting For Voting Rights...Read more

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