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“Fauzia Viqar Recognized for Women’s Rights at CAREC Awards”

Fauzia  Viqar was among the notable honorees at the 22nd CAREC Ministerial Conference for her support for women’s rights.

Fauzia Viqar, a famous Pakistani human rights activist focusing on women’s rights, received the inaugural CAREC Award for Advancing Gender Equality in Tbilisi, Georgia.

The celebration, which took place on Thursday, brought together extraordinary individuals and organizations from the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program’s ten member countries.

Fauzia  Viqar was among the notable honorees at the 22nd CAREC Ministerial Conference for her work for women’s rights and empowerment. Her accomplishments and dedication were recognized alongside eleven other honorees for their remarkable contributions to promoting gender equality across various sectors.

During her tenure as the first chairwoman of the Punjab Commission on from 2014 to 2019, Viqar led a gender management information system, issued annual reports on gender parity, and developed a helpline for women to report incidences of abuse.

She was appointed as the Federal Ombudsperson for Workplace Harassment Protection in March 2023. The CAREC Awards ceremony not only recognized Fauzia  Viqar’s excellent achievements, but also emphasized the critical necessity to continue advocating for gender equality. The program addressed the importance of working together to build a more inclusive, egalitarian, and just society.

Gender Hub Azerbaijan was recognized for advocacy and capacity-building in women’s rights, the Women’s Information Center for consistent championing of gender equality in Georgia, and Waipula Village in Yunnan, China, for its women-led eco-tourism initiative.

JSC Housing Construction Savings Bank (Otbasy Bank) in Kazakhstan was recognized for its successful Umai mortgage program, which provides women with access to affordable housing, while the National Federation of Female Communities in Kyrgyzstan was recognized for combating gender-based violence by focusing on issues such as child abuse.

The National Center Against Violence in Mongolia was honored for its contribution to the establishment of a comprehensive protection system for victims of violence; the Central Council of the Women’s Union of Turkmenistan was honored for uniting over 5,000 grassroots organizations with over 880,000 women across the country; and the “Nemolchi” Media Project in Uzbekistan was honored for their impactful contribution in promoting women’s rights and reshaping public opinion.

Wonder Women, an international network that works in Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan, won the regional category prize.

A distinguished panel of jurors carefully chose the awards from over 200 candidates. as CAREC Gender Champions in 2023. This recognition entitles them to participate in CAREC-organized gender events, which provide networking opportunities and facilitate peer-to-peer exchange of best practices. They will also benefit from CAREC’s leadership coaching and mentorship programs.

The CAREC Award for Advancing Gender Equality is a key project within the larger CAREC Program, which began in 2001. This program is a dedicated collaboration of governments and development partners working cooperatively to promote development in Central and West Asia through regional cooperation.

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