UNDP and USAID Award Scholarships to Women Lawyers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Peshawar, 8 August 2022 – UNDP and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) awarded scholarships to ten women law students and stipends to ten women lawyers in a ceremony today. The event was organized by UNDP and Khyber Pakthunkhwa (KP) Bar Council. The scholarships and stipends will help the recipients to complete their legal studies and post-graduation apprenticeships.

At the ceremony, UNDP also handed over 824 law books and 64 sets of law criminal and civil law journals to the libraries of district bar associations in Orakzai, Kurram, North Waziristan, and South Waziristan. These will generate new knowledge and skills among lawyers to deliver quality legal counsel and advice to litigants in the Merged Districts of KP province.

Since 2012, UNDP has supported women lawyers and law students across 18 District and Tehsil Bar Associations in KP and Merged Areas. UNDP has also trained more than 800 legal professionals who are members of the KP Bar Council including 75 women lawyers on gender justice and gender-responsive justice delivery. UNDP undertakes this work to encourage and empower more women to enter the legal profession in this region, where women are significantly under-represented in the justice sector.

The event was also attended by Mr. Muhammad Ali Jadoon, Vice Chairperson, KP Bar Council and Ms. Chamila Hemmathagama, Programme Manager, Rule of Law Programme, UNDP, and representatives from the District Bar Associations.

In his address, Mr. Muhammad Ali Jadoon, Chairperson, KP Bar Council, extended his gratitude to UNDP and USAID for their efforts to strengthen District Bar Associations to improve access to justice for all. He also congratulated the scholarship and stipend recipients and assured them that the, “KP Bar Council and Bar Associations will do their very best to ensure a gender-responsive and safer working environment for the women lawyers.”

Ms. Chamila Hemmathagama, Programme Manager, UNDP Rule of Law Programme, also appreciated and thanked the KP Bar Council and USAID for their long-term partnership and support in this important work to empower women lawyers in the region. “I hope the scholarships and stipends awarded today will allow the recipient women lawyers and law students to succeed in their chosen careers as legal professionals and inspire more women to join this noble profession in years to come. We must continue to work together in creating a supportive environment for more women to play an active role in the justice sector in the Merged Areas as well as make justice accessible to all regardless of one’s gender or social status.”

The UNDP Pakistan’s Rule of Law Programme is implementing a range of interventions to strengthen security and justice sector governance in Pakistan.

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Journalist, trainer and a media development specialist with wide experience in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province including former FATA. Areas of expertise include digital news reporting and editing,media and communications strategies, and online safety and security. Twitter: @tayyebafridi