Fareeda Kokikhel Afridi

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Fareeda "Kokikhel" Afridi was a Pashtun feminist, a women's rights activist in Pakistan. In July 2012, at the age of 25, she was shot dead on her way to work.[1][2][3]

Afridi was born and raised in the Khyber tribal area, part of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), an impoverished semi-autonomous region in Pakistan's northwest, bordering Afghanistan.[4]

She graduated from university with a master's degree in gender studies. While still in school, with her sister Noor Zia Afridi, she founded the Society for Appraisal and Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA), a women-run NGO promoting women's empowerment in FATA.[5][6]

Afridi was critical of the Pakistani government, the Taliban, and the patriarchal nature of Pakistani society.[7]

In June 2012, she told journalists she was being threatened. Her friends and colleagues suspected the threats originated with FATA Taliban militants.[7]

On 5 July 2012, as Afridi left her home in the Khyber tribal area to go to work in Hayatabad a suburb of Peshawar, she was shot once in the head and twice in the neck by two motorcyclists, who afterwards escaped. She died in hospital.[8]

Condemning the murder at a protest camp organized by the Aurat Foundation along with Peshawar Press Club and Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Information Minister Mian Iftikhar Hussain stated:

Imposing death decrees on individuals such as Farida has resulted in a negative portrayal of our country as well as Islam itself.[9][10][11]

She was the second female in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa to be targeted by Taliban extremists.[12]

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