Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fouzia Saeed

Dr. Fouzia Saeed, a social scientist with a PhD from the University of Minnesota, is the author of "Taboo! The Hidden Culture of a Red Light Area," based on 8 years of field research among prostitutes in Pakistan. 

Dr. Saeed is well known in the activist circles of Pakistan's social movement, having worked for decades on women’s issues especially those linked to violence against women, prostitution, women in the entertainment business, women’s mobility and sexual harassment. Her work on violence against women spans over 20 years and includes founding the first women’s crisis center in Pakistan in 1991. Her earlier work with the Folk and Traditional Heritage Institute (Lok Virsa) led to the book, Women in Folk Theater. 

During her career she has headed the UN Gender Program in Pakistan, served as Pakistan Country Director for Action Aid and currently is an international consultant in the field of Gender and Development. As a consultant, over the years, she has worked in Pakistan, USA, Bahamas, Philippines, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Thailand, India, Afghanistan, Fiji and several other Pacific Island countries. 

Her current activist work includes being the Director of Mehergarh, an institute committed to transform the youth of this country, an active member of AASHA, an alliance against sexual harassment at the workplace and an active member of a campaign against bonded labor. In addition, the urgency to work on anti talibanization has moved her to be a part of a nationwide movement against this vicious process. Her main identity remains as a human rights and women’s activist in Pakistan.

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