Advocating For Enabling Civic Space For Young People In Pakistan
Sabir is an activist from Pakistan who is mobilising youth and advocating for youth and women engagement in civic spaces, especially policy and decision-making processes, where they are largely excluded. Sabir initiated dialogues and consultations with policy makers, the Department of Youth Affairs, national human rights institutions, and youth, including a virtual consultation with 200 youth on provincial youth policy that documented recommendations for policy revisions. Sabir organised consultations with multi-stakeholders to foster dialogue around the gaps in the provincial youth policy and sensitise policymakers on the incorporation these recommendations in the policy revision. Moreover, the recommendations that Sabir gathered allowed for youth demands to be presented and considered during the policymaking process. Sabir was appointed as a member of the Chief Minister Special Committee on Youth Reforms for his volunteer work.
After sharing his reflections from his work in 2020, a community member said: “Sabir’s work in recent months for youth is of high importance because policy revision is a sustainable change and for the first-time youth recommendations are documented and presented before the provincial government and the efforts will promote more youth participation in civic spaces and CSOs.” - Sidh, Civil Society Network.
Pakistan is an underdeveloped country having a low economy and high number of youth Pakistani society is highly influenced by religious and patriarchal values and therefore has a low tolerance for diversity. Youth engagement in civic spaces in Pakistan remains very low due to low opportunities for youth and due to restricted civic spaces.
Women and girls in Pakistan are unable to enjoy their freedom of political participation and right to sexual and reproductive health and experience gender-based violence at domestic and public spheres and similarly cannot access response services for sexual and reproductive health due to community taboo and lack of information.
Sabir Ali is a human rights activists based in Pakistan who aim to improve women’s political participation by mobilization, dialogue and consultations and improve women’s and girls’ access to sexual and reproductive health services by advocacy with response service providers and building leadership capacity of women and girls to generate demand for their equal participation in public spheres and equal service provision for gender based violence prevention and access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Sabir Ali aims to improve youth participation in civic spaces and provide equal opportunities for youth to amplify their voices and exercise their leadership skills. In this regard, Sabir Ali aims to initiate dialogue and consultation with policy makers, legislators, youth affairs departments, national human rights institutions and other key stakeholders and mobilizes youth in communities to improve youth participation in decision making, policy making and improve civic spaces for youth led organizations in Pakistan.
“One of the greatest challenges for youth is lack of engagement and lack of participation by donors and civil society in Pakistan and therefore youth remained left out of mainstream policy participation and decision-making participation. Youth engagement can contribute in building a resilient and democratic society and can improve civic spaces for women, girls and marginalized groups” Sabir Ali