“We have the responsibility as well as the ability to create a world from which injustice, inequity, inequality and oppression are gradually eliminated,” says Blue Veins, a Global Fund for Women grantee in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Pakistan.
This mission statement is bold, even defiant given the context of Blue Veins’ work. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province – already a stronghold for traditional male-dominated cultures and values - has become increasingly associated with sectarian violence, suicide bombings, and US drone attacks. Moreover, the region is facing the second year of devastating floods that have left millions of families without homes, livelihoods and security. This includes refugee families from Afghanistan fleeing 30 years of military conflicts in their home country.
Yet, Blue Veins never shies away from a challenge. Working with women in the community, the group successfully advocated for the creation of a Women’s Desk at the Provincial Disaster Management Authority in June 2011 to respond directly to the concerns of women impacted by the floods, particularly sexual violence. Before the Women’s Desk was established, there was a limited capacity to provide services to pregnant women and survivors of gender-based violence in flood-affected areas. Now women in KPK can be sure they won’t be forgotten. Blue Veins also ensures their critical leadership in building peace in their communities, and advocating for gender justice nationally.