There is a clear gendered dimension to extremism. Women are often targets of violence, and extremism tends to limits their role in public and private places. Narratives in violent extremism are built on existing cultural and patriarchal norms that has survived for generations and undermine the role of women. Patriarchal norms and cultural practices in the Swat province of Pakistan are no different.
The Awakening is a civil society organization registered in the Swat province in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. It is a woman-led, rights-based organization that works to promote and protects human rights focusing especially on women and girls from religious minorities and transgender communities. The CSO co-pioneered the first ever Women Jigra (council) and has received international recognition for this role. The Awakening has proposed an initiative to build capacity of selected women in the region to form a network that will advocate with policy makers to implement laws that protect and promote the rights of women. This will include a campaign that will create awareness and conduct interdisciplinary dialogues on gender-based violence in the Swat Valley.