Sameena Nazir

Sameena Nazir

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Speaking Topics

  • Why peace in Pakistan is critical for peace in the world
  • Attacks on girls’ rights to education: What can we do?
  • Women’s voices for peace: Where, how and why?
  • Women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa
  • Organizing women in Pakistan

Sameena Nazir speaks with United Methodist Women


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 dynamic, creative and resourceful peace advocate and a developer of international women’s rights programs in Muslim countries and communities. Sameena Nazir has advised national and international organizations on women’s rights advocacy, programming and funding. She has delivered keynote addresses at various international conferences, universities and United Nations forums. Ms. Nazir has successfully designed and implemented women’s rights advocacy and rural development programs in Afghanistan, Egypt, Morocco, Ghana, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Trinidad, Turkey, Uganda, USA and Yemen.

Sameena Nazir is currently serving as Strategic Program Advisor for Networks of Change, USA & UK, and Founding President of a leading women’s rights NGO in Asia, PODA-Pakistan. Earlier she has worked at Freedom House, International Human Rights Law Group and National Endowment for Democracy in USA. In 2005, she directed a research study on women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa that was published in English and Arabic and presented widely in the region as an advocacy tool. She has led multi-country projects funded by foundations, European Union, USAID and the United Nations.

Sameena Nazir has been recognized as a women’s rights leader globally by her election as Vice President for Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (WILPF) in 2015. She also served as member of the Punjab Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) in Pakistan. In 2010, she was awarded the Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Defender Award by the President of Pakistan, and in 2009 she received the Annual Humanitarian Service Award by InterAction, in Washington, DC. In 2002, Ms. Nazir was recognized for her Courage and Vision for initiating projects for Afghan Refugee Women at International Human Rights Law Group. Ms. Nazir holds a Masters in Rural Development from Cornell University and MA in English from Pakistan.

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