At the time, Misbah Mushtaq was a Human Resource Management student and when she joined the Pakistan Red Crescent Society she had no idea her voluntary commitments and professional career would eventually be combined. Today she works as the assistant director of the Youth and Volunteer department, at Pakistan Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Her colleagues and other volunteers can vouch for the fact that Misbah always works with perseverance, tenacity and commitment.
– Misbah Mushtaq, Pakistan
“Volunteering has showed me the real me”
Although the voluntary work was demanding at times, Misbah persisted and kept on strengthening her capacities. She has always been curious to learn more and was boosted by the new expertise she was getting, leading to the enrolment in several nationwide and international trainings. In 2016, her commitment and dedication were recognized as she was awarded ‘Volunteer of the Year’ in her National Society.
She is grateful for the platform and support the Pakistan Red Crescent has given her, on both a professional and personal level: “By volunteering for the PRCS I have learned who I really am. Volunteerism is about being conscientious and taking initiative. By getting the opportunity to practice these skills, I feel like the volunteer work has showed me the real me”.
A lot has happened since the horrific attacks at the Islamic University in Islamabad, and since Misbah first came in contact with the PRCS. Today she is responsible for guiding, offering trainings to, and leading over 1.8 million Red Crescent volunteers in Pakistan. She works in close coordination with Provincial and District Branches of the PRCS, educational institutions, health departments, and non-governmental organisations, to recruit and mobilize volunteers and ensure successful implementation of the Youth & Volunteer programme.
Her groundbreaking journey surely inspires other young people, especially women. Knowing she is in a position where her voice can be heard, Misbah takes every opportunity to advocate for women’s empowerment. She also makes sure to offer mentoring, tools and resources to women, enabling them to make confident decisions and reach the goals they set out to achieve. In terms of reaching goals, Misbah is convinced of one thing: “Hard work and patience never stops paying back, I am where I am today because of it”.
Between 1990 and 2017, women made up only 2 per cent of mediators, 8 per cent of negotiators and 5 per cent of witnesses and signatories to global peace processes.