I was extremely honored to be part of the #YouthCSW Declaration on Gender Equality and the Human Rights of Young Women and Girls. In 2030, we, the youth, in all our diversities, want to see a fully inclusive world where….
- We lead gender-just implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Young women and girls are at the table, making decisions on issues that affect us.
- We are the last generation who can solve climate change.
- We choose what happens to our bodies.
- Youth of all genders live free from violence.
- Young women and girls have built a peaceful world with other generations.
- Opportunities, responsibilities and resources are equally shared.
- Migrants are not victims of systemic injustice.
- We are not sexual objects.
- Faith leaders act upon faith principles to uphold our dignity.
- We are not told who can play which sports.
- Young men and boys are partners in sustaining gender equality.
- Youth are civil society leaders at all levels.
One of my friend named, Reem, a high school student, who takes Women & Gender studies class asked me following questions as part of her project. I met Reem at the United Nations headquarters in New York. I told her about my activities and passion. I gave her following answers and thought to publish them as well. The idea of this post is to encourage the people to join our movement, He For She as well as to raise awareness.
- What inspired you to become a Feminist?
Ans: When I saw the cruelties and violence against women around the globe, I stood up against them and challenged dogmatic beliefs that were encouraging violence against women. I’m a feminist because of my and every mother, sister, and daughter around the globe. I’m a feminist because this world cannot advance alone. Both men and women can achieve a peaceful future together. It’s not just for our generations but for the generations to come.
Hiroshima / New York, August/Sep 2015
Throughout the years, I have been working with young people around the globe in building their capacity by empowering communities and advocating for peace, security and the rights of all people. When it comes to youth, my aspirations are always multiplied with hope and strength because we are the “generation of change”. If we can’t change the whole world, don’t get disappointed because we can create change at any level of society and, at the end of the day, impact the globe. We are 1.8 billion in numbers and rising. We are the Youth of the world and a generation of change.
— Syed Mahmood Kazmi (@SMahmoodKazmi) August 31, 2015
I was flown into Hiroshima from New York City to join youth Activists, the hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) and experts at the International Youth Summit for Nuclear Abolition to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the tragic Hiroshima and Nagaski bombings.
It was one of the great days of my life when I had an opportunity to volunteer during the launching ceremony of UN Women’s HeForShe campaign for gender equality in September last year. I was stunned to hear UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador Ms. Emma Watson’s speech live at the United Nations headquarters.
She left us some questions to ask ourselves for standing up for gender equality and women empowerment, “If not me, who? If not now, when?”
These words went straight to my heart.
I was the man – number 84, to take the commitment to be a HeForShe after United Nations Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon became the first ever signatory of this campaign.
As they say, every person makes a difference. I started utilizing my networks in Pakistan and worldwide. I asked my friends and fellow global citizens to be the ambassadors of this campaign and be the example for the youngsters and students in their country. Soon, HeForShe became my introduction. I always tell people that I am a HeForShe and a concerned global citizen.
I was invited to join hands together with my young leaders in organizing an incredible event. Yes, The Youth Assembly took place from Feb. 11-12 at the United Nations headquarters in New York. The exciting event brought together almost 500 Youth leaders and social entrepreneurs from more than 30 countries. The theme of the event was, “Bridging the Gap Between Youth Employment and Global Development”. The Youth Assembly has been founded and organized by the Friendship Ambassadors Foundation, based in Connecticut and it happens twice a year. Every year, thousands of young people come together to have a constructive dialogue about United Nations areas of work, Millennium Development Goals, Sustainable Development Goals, inspiring speeches from the UN high officials and dignitaries, youth-led and community development organizations.
The Permanent Mission of Romania to the United Nations was the lead endorser and host of this event. In the opening remarks, the Permanent Observer of Romania to the United Nations, Ambassador Ms. Simona Miculescu appreciated and welcomed young people in her friendly salute and with wonderful remarks, “if you have a dream or an idea, there is no better time to make it happen than TODAY! Remember! Your input to the new sustainable development goals will influence the well-being and livelihood of present and future generations! This includes me, you, your friends, your parents, your brothers and sisters.”
The United Nations ECOSOC Youth Forum 2015 was held from 2-3 February 2015 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. Even the snowy weather couldn’t stop this wonderful event to be happened. This year’s theme was “Youth Engagement in the Transition from MDGs to SDGs: What will it take?”. The two-day event brought almost 700 young people and representatives from worldwide on a single platform. The forum has been happening since 2012. The objectives of the event were to provide young people a platform to engage in dialogue with the member states from MDGs to SDGs, to mark the 20th anniversary of the World Programme of Action for Youth (WPAY), to focus attention on the importance of gender equality and identify recommendations for the ECOSOC ministerial meeting in July.
On the first day, the President of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), Ambassador Martin Sajdik warmly welcomed the participants. During his remarks, he emphasized the power of young people with the great examples of Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and Malala Yousafzai. ” With 1.8 billion people, youth and adolescents represent one quarter of the world’s population. Youth constitute the force of change for our societies.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
I believe Peace can only be achieved without wars and by non-violent actions. We might first think that resolution of conflict can be occurred by using violence and force. If we see the history, wars always led us to more dangerous consequences. It endangered the living on planet. The concept of wars should be demolished now. It’s enough for the world suffered with the destruction of and by mankind.
Reflecting on some personal stories I have pinned many reason which motivated me to go for peace activities. In 2005, I was the victim of massive earthquake in Pakistan. 2009 and 2010 were the years when suicide bombings have had paralyzed the normal flow of life in my country. In the earthquake we lost many loved ones, many were wounded… it have stimulated me to join Pakistan Red Crescent Society. After the events in 2009/2010, I have taken part of Emergency Response Teams administering first Aid and search and rescue operation in the wake of attacks..
On February 5th and 6th BIG event took place! The Youth Assembly at the United Nations held a conference on “Bridging the Gap between Social Entrepreneurship and Youth Employment” at the UN Headquarters in New York City. The 2-day conference was the place where youth delegates from all over the world gathered to learn, network and exchange ideas surrounding social innovation, social entrepreneurship and youth empowerment. Speakers included leaders such as: Ahmad Alhendawi (UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth), Zeenat Rahman (Secretary John Kerry’s Special Adviser for Global Youth Issues), Stacy Martinet (CMO of Mashable), Francesca Covey (Strategic Partner & Manager of Politics at Facebook), Allison Baller (Global Leader and Mobile Payments at IBM) and more.
It was great honour for me to speak at the side workshop of the Youth Assembly at the UN. I have also got the great opportunity to meet the young people from different parts of the world personally, sharing ideas and experiences for the promotion of cooperation and collaboration among the youth of advanced countries, developing countries and third world countries.
The first thing which comes in my mind when I hear “Violence against Women” is injustice, cruelty and an act which will destroy generations. It hurts me badly. To me it is brutality, butchery and barberry against one of the greatest creation of the God. A woman is mother, sister, wife, daughter or a girlfriend. How can we go to that extreme level to disrespect all the relations a woman might have and torture her mentally or physically? My souls trembles when I hear and as I am writing this, tears flows down my eyes while thinking about millions of the women being victimized because of this violence every day. No one even comes to know about that, as it is most of time not reported. Violence against women is not only a crime but it’s a serious disrespect towards humanity and the core values of civilization. It is humiliation, disgrace, dishonor, degradation and embarrassment against the name of passion, love, care, enmity, adoration and affection. To me, it is a barrier against the advancement and success of a woman. To me, it discourages the greatness and motivation of a woman who can achieve a good rank in society. It is a bad example and an act against nature because I believe God made man and woman for Love, care and affection not for torture or violence. Violence against women is a worst thing one can do to terrorize, victimize, isolate, coerce or threaten humanity. One of the greatest barriers to women’s economic progression is violence that women have to face routinely.
Islam says, “Killing of a human being is like killing whole humanity”. Some terrorists organizations on the name of Islam kill Muslims. Who are they to decide who is right or wrong Muslim. Every human being has right on fellow human being. The right of living is fundamental right of all the people around the planet. But Terrorists organizations like Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and Sipah-e-Sahaba (Ahl-e-Sunnat Waljamaat) are always killing the innocent people across Pakistan. They are banned by Government but they are always operating with different names, faces and activities. They have just one mission: To kill other human beings.
86 people were killed in deadly bomb blasts in Alamdar Road Quetta and many dozens were injured. The terrorist organization I mentioned above claimed responsibility of these deadly attacks. Yet, no murderer is convicted. When 86 Hazara youth were brutally massacred on Jan 10, 2013, the Chief Minister of Balochistan province was partying abroad; the President and Prime Minster refused to comment for several hours while the Hazaras with their dead bodies carried a sit in protest for four days. The massacre of 86 Hazara right at the start of the new year foreshadows an ominous, deadly year for this subjugated community and for those belonging to the Shiite sect.
Before writing over Malala Yousafzai’s peace efforts and contributions for a deprived area under the occupation of Militants and Extremist, I would like the readers to know about the concept and Ideology of Islam on Education of both male and female.
Surah 96 is said to be the very first chapter to be revealed of the Holy Quran. It starts with the word “read”. It says “read in the name of the Preserver, who created, who created man from a clot of blood. Read and thy Preserver is the greatest Benefactor: he taught through the pen. He taught man what he did not know.”
Holy Prophet Mohammad Peace Be Upon Him said, “To acquire knowledge is binding upon all Muslims, whether male or female.” This is the religious perspective of all the Muslims who are obliged to follow the Holy Book, Quran and the Preaching of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad Peace Be upon Him. Holy Prophet also says, “One who travels in search of Education, God show him the way to Paradise”. This clearly shows that Islam has focused on education of everyone.