What we do
We make multimedia films in short and long format for awareness and advocacy campaigns. While we are focused on women’s issues, Gawaahi would be interested in working with nonprofits and causes that work toward religious tolerance, democratic values and education to name a few. Samples of our work can be seen on our “Stop Street Harassment!” page. These two films that are just over a minute-long each were made by us on our own initiative using personal funds. Based on this campaign, Gawaahi has been commissioned to make a short multimedia film of Obstetric Fistula survivors for Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund.
Immediately after our registration, of our own initiative and using personal funds, the group held its pilot activity. This was a counseling session in the form of a story circle, expanding on the theme of Gawaahi.com. The participants were ten women – 3 survivors of domestic abuse, 3 survivors of Obstetric Fistula, 2 medical officers accompanying the fistula ‘repaired’ patients, psychotherapist, Ishma Alvi and Naveen Naqvi, the Executive Director of Gawaahi.
The women shared their stories of survival and overcoming, gaining strength and solace from one another, understanding that abuse can span class, age, ethnic background and religion, and also that survival can take many forms. This activity was conducted in collaborated with Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health President, Dr Shershah Syed, Ob-Gyn who does free repair and/or treatment of Obstetric Fistula patients from the most disadvantaged backgrounds of Pakistan, and the Panah Shelter for Women (survivors of domestic violence).
We learnt from this session that women survivors and women from marginalized low-income households need, above all else, counseling in life skills and vocational training. For this, we are devising a plan to provide counseling to ten women survivors at a time in collaboration with women-oriented NGOs.
You may also know some of the work done by the website, Gawaahi.com, of which our Executive Director Naveen Naqvi was Co-Founder and Editor-in-Chief. Gawaahi.com is our completed, self-sustaining project. While the project is completed, we continue to receive testimonies and personal accounts of abuse and survival. For that, this platform is always available.
For Gawaahi.com, our main activities have been interviewing and recording women and men who are survivors – of abuse, disability and the floods of 2010 as well as citizens challenging injustice here and all over the world. We make and encourage submissions of testimonies describing experiences of abuse, child abuse and domestic violence. We collaborate with Pakistani NGOs to promote their work with a special focus on women’s issues and child abuse, and extend to them our platform for completed works such as documentaries.
At Gawaahi.com, we have given priority to women journalists, bloggers, photobloggers and activists. In our Tips & Tutorials section that carried videos of mainstream media journalists, we have taken care to profile women in the profession to create role models for young women and girls, implicitly encouraging them to pursue the line as a career option. We intend to continue with our work encouraging Pakistanis to take advantage of Information and Communication Technologies as it is accessible to them.