KIIR is committed to empower women in the AJK region. The gender component, which was considered as a crosscutting theme, has emerged as a direct focus area. It is now working as a full-fledged component having multiple prongs of grassroots interventions designed to enhance women’s social, economic and political participation in Kashmir. The organization had undertaken several activities over the years to create an enabling environment for women, particularly in the social and economic political sectors.
The program has successfully mobilized and developed a new generation of women leaders from all parts of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir region. So far more than three hundred young women, social and political leaders, and academics have received training, advice and linkages development support from KIIR. These women are now coming up with new social campaigns, entrepreneurial initiatives and political actions to identify common challenges and develop shared solutions. Particularly in the past five years, KIIR has undertaken following activities for emerging women leaders in AJK to polish their leadership skills and enhance linkages.
Since 2013, KIIR has been engaging and bringing together women from across all divisions of AJK (Mirpur, Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot). Through various capacity building workshops, leadership and conflict resolution trainings, and policy dialogues, KIIR has supported a large constituency of AJK women in articulating their voices and claiming spaces for themselves in the existing civic platforms. KIIR has enabled them to think creatively and claim their lost spaces and see their larger role in resolution of the conflict, of which they are the biggest victims. This is done through creating an environment for collaborative learning by setting a tradition of reaching out to communities which are voiceless or unheard in the Kashmir conflict including women suffering directly from shelling at the Line of Control (LoC),and women who want their narratives to be heard and feed into policy making processes relating to the conflict.
Our gender program also focuses on identifying and building the capacities of women who are willing to contribute in the political processes over the Kashmir conflict, and see their leadership role in resolving this conflict. We work with a huge constituency of aware and motivated women who are seeking their spaces in political processes to make their voices heard and see their leadership role. With these and multitude of other interventions, KIIR has strengthened women’s voices, and provided a platform to harness enhanced recognition and receptivity for women’s participation in social, economic and political affairs, equally, freely and meaningfully.