Education Champion Network

Qamar Naseem

Programme Coordinator, Blue Veins Champion since 2019
“Educating our girls means creating a more peaceful, progressive, socioeconomically empowered society.”
Campaigning to increase government funding for girls’ education to build more girls’ schools, improve existing infrastructure and eliminate tuition fees

The Issue

In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, there are about 1.6 million girls out of school, more than twice the number of out-of-school boys. Because the government allocates less money to girls’ education than boys’ education, there are only 10,802 schools and colleges for girls in the province compared to 16,980 for boys. This disparity increases after primary school and in communities outside of urban centres.

Qamar’s approach

Policy Reform

Born and raised in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, Qamar saw how patriarchal beliefs in his community limited opportunities for girls and women. He decided to become a human rights activist and engage boys and men in promoting gender equality. As programme coordinator at Blue Veins, Qamar works with religious, community, media and government leaders to advocate for policies that support vulnerable communities within the province. 

With his Malala Fund grant, Qamar campaigns for the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government to increase funding for girls’ secondary education and for the district governments of Peshawar, Charsadda, Karak, Kohat and Mardan to allocate more funding for the construction of girls’ schools, the improvement of existing infrastructure and the elimination of school fees. Qamar and Blue Veins hold conferences and meetings with government officials and political party representatives to encourage them to support girls’ education. Qamar conducted a qualitative study on the key barriers to girls’ secondary school access and completion in five target districts and trained journalists to cover girls’ education in the media.

Qamar’s impact

In 2019, Qamar and Blue Veins held a press conference about how the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provincial government isn’t spending enough on girls’ education, which received national coverage. After the press conference, the provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa diverted 70% of the 2019-20 education development budget to girls’ education to improve existing schools and establish more girls’ secondary schools. 

More about Qamar

Website: Blue Veins
Twitter: @QamarNaseemPak
Organization's Facebook: Blue Veins
Organization's Twitter: @BlueVeinsPak

There are 11 other Education Champions working in Pakistan.