Tabassum Adnan-a Pakistani activist wins the celebrated Nelson Mandela – Graça Machel Innovation Award 2016 on Thursday, April, 28/ In this regard, an awards ceremony was organised yesterday April 28, as a part of the International Civil Society Week (ICSW). The event is hosted by CIVICUS, in association with the Confederación Colombiana de ONG in Bogotá, Colombia.
Tabassum Adnan- the Pakistani rights activist who founded the NGO- Khwendo Jirga, (Sister’s Council), which is a jirga for women only. Tabassum was awarded the Secretary of State’s International Women of Courage Award in acknowledgment of her valuable services of women’s rights.
Tabassum herself was a victim of child-marriage. She was given in marriage at the age of 13 years; she was subjected to physical and mental torture for about 20 years after her marriage. She eventually divorced her husband; which resulted in her loosing her children, money and home.
Later on, she initiated an NGO, Khwendo Jirga, which is an archetype as being a women-only jirga. Under the supervision of this NGO, women meet frequently, to talk about issues related to honour killings, acid attacks, and most importantly, swara which is giving of women as compensation for crimes. This jirga has created awareness regarding the women’s issues and their security. Moreover, issues like, women’ right to vote is also brought under discussion. Furthermore, Khwendo Jirga offers free of charge legal help to female victims of violence.