According to the Reuters Foundation, Pakistan is the third most dangerous country for women in the world. The nation also ranks highly in perpetration of violence against women, with honor killings and acid violence being the most brutal manifestations of this phenomenon. Furthermore, the Khwaja-Sira community, a non-binary gender identity group, also face bouts of violence and discrimination. The Forum believes that this gender-based oppression is an issue that deserves our utmost attention, and it is our understanding that a sincere articulation of Pakistani feminism and activism infused with a cognizance of the presence of non-binary gender is imperative in ensuring gender equality for all. This panel brings together individuals committed to the cause of empowering marginalized gender identities who are tackling this vast issue from various angles and viewpoints. Through this panel, we wish to explore a better understanding of allyship and community activism in diminishing patriarchal structures and working towards an equal Pakistan.
Country Representative of UN Women in Pakistan
Mr. Kazi possesses diverse field and senior management experience spanning across Asia and the Pacific, East Africa, and Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in the fields of democratic governance, programme management, inter-agency coordination, human rights, women’s empowerment and environmental policy with several UN agencies (UNDP, UNEP, UNV, UNESCAP) and the NGO sector. Immediately prior to assuming his current function as UN Women Representative in Pakistan, he served as the Director ad interim of UNDP’s Global Policy Center (Oslo Governance Center) based in Norway.
From 2010- early 2014, Mr. Kazi served in UNDP headquarters in New York as the global Practice Manager of the Democratic Governance portfolio. He also worked at the United Nations Volunteers (UNV) headquarters in Bonn, Germany, as Senior Programme Specialist and deputy chief of the Asia, Pacific, Europe and CIS sections. During his tenure at UNV Headquarters, Mr. Kazi contributed to the formulation of the first regional UN inter-agency initiative on Gender-Based Violence (Partners for Prevention) focusing on Men and Boys in the Asia-Pacific region. Mr. Kazi’s field experience includes assignments as Assistant Resident Representative where he concurrently served as Chief of Governance with the UNDP country offices in Ethiopia (2003-2005) and Lao PDR (2005-2007), respectively. Between 1997-2002, Mr. Kazi served with UN/ESCAP, UNEP’s regional office in Asia-Pacific in Bangkok, and with IUCN- The World Conservation Union both at their headquarters in Switzerland and in Pakistan.
A national of Bangladesh, Mr. Kazi holds Masters degrees on Public Administration; Development Studies; and Environmental Assessment and Evaluation, respectively, from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and International Development from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, USA.
Assistant Professor at Spelman College
Moon Charania is an Assistant Professor in International Studies at Spelman College. Dr. Charania’s scholarship sits at the intersection of transnational studies and queer studies, and examines various fields such as Anglophone media cultures, the sexual politics of Islamophobia, and feminist and queer resistance. She is the author of Will the Real Pakistani Woman Please Stand Up: Empire, Visual Culture, and the Brown Female Body (McFarland Press). In this book, Dr. Charania offers a detailed analysis of multiple kinds of figures of Pakistani women that currently travel in transnational media, books and film, fruitfully troubling and radically expanding our knowledge of the place of gender, sexuality and racialization in the (neo-) colonial production of otherness and its materialized deployment in global politics.
Professor Charania is a recipient of the prestigious Jacqueline Boles Excellence in Teaching Fellowship (2011), the Ethel Woodruff Draper Research Fellowship (2000) and was named the Beyer Resident in Queer Studies at St. Lawrence University (2015). She teaches in the areas of: transnational feminist and queer of color theories and practices; global violence against women; sexuality and Islam; and trauma and capitalism. She has published over a dozen book chapters and articles, most recently in Sexualities (2016), an article entitled, “Outing the Pakistani Queer: Pride, Paranoia and Pleasure in Pakistan.” She is currently beginning a new book project that focuses on queer Pakistani oral histories, in which she takes on key themes of woman, nation and oral history but in so doing hopes to offer more nuanced understandings of necropolitics, homonormativity, hetero-violence, women’s secrets and the politics of knowledge production.
Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education
Mariam's research focuses on the nexus of migration studies, higher education in the U.S. and Pakistan, Muslim youth, language, and Islamophobia. As a feminist scholar, she hopes to make a critical impact by shifting how research and public discourse engages with the category of 'Muslim youth', bearing in mind contemporary framings of the gendered Muslim figure as the axis where questions of cultural difference, politics, and ethics meet. In her current book project, she examines the category of ‘Muslim youth’ through an ethnographic study of migration, mobility, and aspiration among Pakistani-origin Muslim college students. Her next project that focuses on Muslim youth-led technology start-ups as a way to counter both extremism and anti-Muslim racism. In this effort, Durrani's research connects scholarship on transnational Muslim youth in schools, critical race theory, feminist approaches to (im)mobility and migration, and the study of neoliberal technologies across institutions. Currently, Mariam is a Lecturer on Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Sana M. Warraich (Moderator)
Harvard Law School
Sana Warraich is an LL.M Candidate at the Harvard Law School. She is a practicing intellectual property and transactional lawyer. Her research focuses on the intersection of law and gender issues, with a special focus on post-colonial feminist theory and feminist practice of women of color.