Often when we think of violent extremism we think of those who have been drawn into it, or of those who have been victim to its violence.
In endless streams of media coverage, we have watched it destroy people’s lives and engulf whole communities in vicious conflict.
However for us at Peace Direct, when we also think of violent extremism we think of those who have risen to confront it, non-violently. Those who risk their lives every day to build peace. Those who support young people to turn away from militant groups and extremist narratives. Gulalai Ismail is one of those people.
In a recent TEDx Exeter Talk, Gulalai reveals how she is building an equal and peaceful world, starting from her local community.
From witnessing inequality and injustice as a young girl in Pakistan, to defying the Taliban and founding a peacebuilding organisation to support youth and women, this is a story of a courageous and inspiring woman.
A champion of women’s rights worldwide, Gulalai has spoken at the UN and won prestigious awards for her work as a peace activist.
It was at the age of just 16 that she co-founded Aware Girls: an organisation that helps young people turn away from extremist militancy and strengthens the voice of women to claim their rights for equality and political participation.
Gulalai has a vision, and she will stop at nothing to achieve it. At the centre of that vision, Gulalai explains the vital role women and young people play in tackling the root causes of violence. Her work highlights the strength of local communities to peacefully counter violent extremism and build their own peace, one person at a time.
Gulalai is doing incredible things to make her community in Pakistan a better place. Watch her TEDx Talk to discover more.