Sameena Nazir is founder and Executive Director of Potohar Organization for Development Advocacy (PODA) and President of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Pakistan Section.

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She is a human rights educator based in Pakistan. PODA is a Pakistani NGO working for the promotion and protection of human rights in rural areas of Pakistan. Nazir is an organizer for human rights campaigns and works extensively with rural women and local communities for promoting peace initiatives, gender equity and minority rights. She is also active promoting pro-women rights legislations and policies in Pakistan. From the WILPF-Pakistan platform she is organizing a group of women peacemakers to work at district level. Most recently she organized over 1500 rural women to develop a Charter of Rights for Women in Disaster Situations. Through her WILPF and PODA activities in Pakistan, she works with a large number of groups and human rights defenders working at the grassroots level.

Before establishing PODA in Pakistan, Nazir worked at Freedom House in New York City as Project Director for Survey of Women’s Rights in the Middle East and North Africa from 2003 to 2006 and published a comparative analysis of women’s rights in 18 countries in the Middle East and North Africa region. Earlier, she worked at Global Rights: Partners for Justice (formerly the International Human Rights Law Group) in Washington DC from 1995 to 2002 where she designed legal literacy projects for women in Afghanistan, Morocco and Yemen. She also worked in Pakistan as a journalist writing on women’s issues. Nazir has received InterAction’s Annual Humanitarian Award in 2009 in Washington DC and Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Award in Pakistan in 2010. Nazir has studied English Literature and Law at University of Punjab, Pakistan and International Agriculture & Rural Development at Cornell University.


  • Why peace in Pakistan is critical for peace in the world

  • Attacks on Girls’ Right to education:
    what can we do?

  • Women’s voices for peace:
    where, how, why?

  • Women’s rights in the Middle East
    and North Africa

  • Organizing women inPakistan


SAMEENA NAZIR speaks with united methodist women