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Updated 3am UTC Thursday 24 November

Support Greens like Erum throughout the Asia-Pacific

 

I’m Erum Saleem Khan. I am running as a Green local government candidate in Pakistan this year. 

A couple of years ago I would never have dreamed I’d be doing this. But the Asia-Pacific Greens Federation’s mentorship program gave me the confidence to speak up for my community.

And now, I am asking you to support other Greens like me.

One of the most powerful things about the Greens is that we are a global movement – this is why the Asia-Pacific Greens Federation (APGF) exists – it links all of the Greens in this region. And, it was how I  was connected to two incredible mentors in Australia and Belgium. 

There are more than 20 Green parties in our region, full of people like me who want to make a difference. APGF brings us together, to grow our strength and our courage to demand change.

I joined the Greens because of the situation in Karachi, my home city. In Pakistan we face so much violence, and the Greens were the only party with peace as a core value. Since I joined in 2017 I have been supported and encouraged by so many incredible women in Pakistan and across the world. They have kept pushing me, and giving me the inspiration to keep growing and learning, and to make my voice heard.

Now, I am the first female candidate for my party. But I will not be the last.

I never thought I would go into politics. But I was given a chance. We need more women in politics and APGF’s networking and mentoring programmes give us the skills and strength to take our place as leaders. I am asking for your support so that others have the same chance as me.

Pakistani women face many challenges. At the start, I was very shy and thought that I didn’t know anything. But since I’ve been a  part of APGF’s mentoring programme for the past two years, I have found my voice and my confidence. My mentors, Vesna and Linda, believed in me and supported me to do things I never thought I would be able to do. And thanks to the Federation supporting Green women, I am here to stay. 

But I will not stop here. I want to stand in the national elections. My aim is to become a parliamentarian. Because if you do not like politics, then you must change it. You can change your society. And now I have that chance, I also have this responsibility. I have a platform – I must use it. 

Will you support APGF to support other Greens like me?

Through this Federation we can share our voices around the world. What is happening in one country can raise awareness in other countries as well. I never realised that women around the world, including in developed countries, face the same issues of patriarchy that we do! Now that I know, I am both inspired and empowered by the global network of women APGF has brought together to fight it. We are united – and together we can find strength across our region!

We need your support to make sure that more women across Asia and the Pacific have their voices heard. 

Thank you for supporting Green women across the Asia and Pacific region. 

Sincerely,

Erum Saleem Khan

Pakistan Green Party