Like many other developing countries, majority of the girls in Pakistan are also considered second class citizens as sons are preferred by most of the families. When it comes to businesses, agriculture, health and education,
Like many other developing countries, majority of the girls in Pakistan are also considered second class citizens as sons are preferred by most of the families. When it comes to businesses, agriculture, health and education, boys are always given preference over the girls.
In this hostile gender discriminatory environment, the struggle of Nighat Dad is exemplary. She has come forth as a beacon of change who is challenging the status quo and the taboos of the society. By remaining in limits, she has done and achieved so much in a short span of time. Time magazine has declared Nighat Dad as the leader of future.
She is Director of Digital Rights Foundation, the not-for-profit organization educates Pakistanis, particularly young women, about how to respond to online harassment, and also campaigns against legislation that gives the government broad powers of surveillance online, and the dissemination of personal information collected by telecom firms regarding customers’ lives and habits to foreign and domestic state agencies and businesses.
Nighat Dad has been declared by the Time Magazine as the leader of future. She is a well-known name in the circles of the civil society as she envisions Pakistan to be a place where people, especially women, are able to exercise their right of expression without being threatened.
Internet for girls in Pakistan is also limited and girls are discouraged to use the new technology. Parents are strict in giving access to girls to the smart phones and Internet. Nighat Dad has also broken that myth and has also advocated for the digital security.
Nighat Dad is also an independent development consultant, a researcher, and a professional lawyer with extensive experience in cyber laws. Nighat Dad was declared one of the most inspiring women of Pakistan on International Women’s Day by US-Pakistan Women’s Council.
Nighat Dad is a lawyer by training with extensive experience in criminal, civil and corporate law matters. At present she is focusing on Internet Governance issues and articulating civil society’s concerns over government policies that hamper citizen’s use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
She is committed to promoting the role of ICT as a powerful enabler of human and civil rights, particularly concerning women’s rights and the increasing tendency of governments to try to constrain and filter internet use in Pakistan and elsewhere. She has also acted as legal advisor to various corporate entities and civil society organizations in Pakistan.
Nighat Dad has a special research interest in issues concerning Protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPR), and recently acquired a certification from US State Department. Her professional strengths lie in her ability to combine a keen understanding of IT with a sound background in law and public policy. She also has excellent interpersonal skills, developed through her civil rights outreach work, particularly with victims of sexual and domestic abuse.