Amtul Raqeeb Award Conferred on Women of Courage

KARACHI: PPAF’s Amtul Raqeeb Award is an annual award presented on the occasion of International Women’s Day to female community members engaged in PPAF supported community development initiatives across the country.

The Award is meant to honor and recognize the invaluable contribution by individuals especially women belonging to PPAF-supported communities in self-advancement as well as in the socio-economic development of the area they inhabit. Dr. Sania Nishtar, Founder and President Heart file, was the chief guest at the occasion. She said, “PPAF is truly reaching those people who are the resources of this country. PPAF is to be congratulated also for creating this award in the name of a truly brave woman who sacrificed her life in the course of her work and for recognizing the achievements of outstanding women who are making a difference in their communities.”

She added, “Equity and sustainable development are global commitments and neither are possible without the inclusion of women. It is also commendable that PPAF invited the men who accompanied the award winners to speak to make men party to these achievements so that they realize the respect these women deserve.” Hailing from different regions of the country, this year’s Amtul Raqeeb Award recipients included Rehmat Bibi (Badin), Gul Bano Qasim (Rehri Goth), Hassan Jamala Bibi (Shangla), Naeema Bibi (Swabi), Sofia Sahar (Muzaffargarh), Lakki Bibi (Kech) and Ghazala (Sibbi). These women belonging to far-flung areas of the country were acknowledged for their courage in the face of adversity and becoming role models in their respective communities.

The selection criteria for this year’s award brought into focus women who had made through local bodies election 2015, those encountering a physical disability, women working for promotion of safe motherhood practices and the ones working towards peace building and conflict management in their respective areas. PPAF instituted the award in recognition of courage of Amtul Raqeeb, a program officer at Balochistan Rural Support Programme (BRSP), Quetta. Amtul was killed along with two other colleagues on their way back to Quetta after performing duties in Mastung on January 24, 2011. Her immense contribution in capacity building of local traditional birth attendants resulted in a significant reduction of the mother-child mortality rate in the inaccessible regions of Balochistan.

PPAF held the 1st Amtul Raqeeb Award ceremony on March 8, 2012. So far 26 women and 2 men have been conferred with Amtul Raqeeb award during the last four years. Qazi Azmat Isa, CEO of PPAF, said, “The strength, achievements and resilience of the women here is overwhelming and PPAF is committed to our journey together in bringing change and equity to the communities of Pakistan. The heroes are the people who are working on the ground, like Amtul Raqeeb.” PPAF approach is to develop representative, inclusive, transparent and accountable institutions of the poor. The catalytic role of women in program design, delivery and impact is at the core of all interventions. Access and opportunities for women are enabled through micro-loans, asset transfer and livelihoods development.

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