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Led by a woman social entrepreneur, Association for Behavior and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT) is a registered non-profit development organization working on economic and political empowerment of communities in the under-served areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA (Federally Aadministered Ttribal Aareas (FATA)) of Pakistan, with a special focus on women and other marginalized groups. During the past two decades, ABKT has grown in its developmental approaches, thematic areas of intervention, and geographic outreach. From emergency and humanitarian work to disasters risks reduction, ABKT has come up with indigenous approaches in sustainable development for social, economic and political empowerment of marginalized groups and communities in the northwestern parts of Pakistan. ABKT has organized hundreds of community-based organizations in Malakand Division and mobilized them for specific causes to engage with government institutions and other important stakeholders in the region and beyond. ABKT has recently shifted its head office in Islamabad with field offices in Malakand, Swat, Dir Lower, and Dir Upper districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
 

Shad Begum (Executive Director ABKT)

Shad Begum was awarded with the "International Women of Courage Award" by the US "First Lady Michelle Obama" and the "Secretary of State Hillary Clinton" for her fearlessly champing Pakistani women's Political and Economic rights and empowering the disadvantaged and oppressed, on the occasion of  International Women day 08th March, 2012. She was the only woman who was nominated for her efforts and hard work from a very conservative society of Dir, Lower, Pakistan.

Shad Begum is a Human Rights Activist and Social Entrepreneur from Lower Dir , Pakistan. She comes from religious and middle class family. Among the women community from Malakand Division, she is the first woman who established her organization for human rights promotion and development. She says that she has been significantly supported by her family at every level. She started to work as Human Rights Activist and Social Entrepreneur, when she was a student of class 9th in Government Girls High School Ziarat Talash. In 1992, because of her Father motivation & inspiration Shad begum voluntarily joined a local NGO named "Idara Kidhmat-e-Khalq (IKK)" of Talash, Lower Dir. At that time IKK was working for the welfare and strengthening of the local communities including both men and women. Because of the local culture sensitivity and traditional norms it was difficult for men to access and benefit women with welfare activities.

Thus male members of IKK decided to involve women of their own families so that, other women of the area can be benefited too. Shad Begum was also one of those young girls & women who joined IKK to reach the vulnerable women and lend a helping hand for them. Shad says that while working from IKK platform with women communities she realized the need to establish an independent organization for women as well. Women in the areas like Lower Dir were much ignorant and worthy. Their representation was nil in all kind of decision making platforms. IKK facilitated all its women member to establish their own independent organization. More...

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