Two fearless female activists, Gulalai Ismail from Pakistan and Gauri Lankesh from India, have won the prestigious RAW in WAR 2017 Anna Politkovskaya Award for their courage speaking out against extremism against a backdrop of armed conflict. This award is testament to the power local people have to make a difference to thousands of lives.
As global violence surges in the form of humanitarian crises, racial injustices and political oppression, it is important to show just how non-violent resistance can transform lives and communities. We share an inspiring story of nonviolent change from Pakistan, where recruitment by militant organisations threatens young lives and longer term peace.
Events like Charlottesville and the equivocal responses from leadership may shock us, but the important thing is to ensure this has impact beyond its temporary ‘CNN effect’ or an opportunity to score political points. We must fully understand and embrace the need for processes of dialogue, social action, and transformation. If Americans unite in condemning hatred and violence, and commit to facing and addressing the long-standing racism and injustice, they can be a force for peace and the right kind of power in our society.
In this TEDx Exeter talk, Gulalai reveals how she is building an equal and peaceful world, starting from her local community. From witnessing inequality as a young girl in Pakistan, to defying the Taliban and founding a peacebuilding organisation, this is a story of a courageous and inspiring woman.