On Friday 7 March 2014, actor and founder of J/P Haitian Relief Organization Sean Penn presented the 2014 Front Line Defenders Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk to the Society for Appraisal & Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA), a women-led, grass-roots NGO dedicated to empowering women and girls in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
The Society for Appraisal & Women Empowerment in Rural Areas (SAWERA) is a women-led, grass-roots NGO dedicated to empowering women and girls in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. SAWERA operates in a region where people working on issues relating to women face extreme risks.
In 2012, Ms Farida Afridi, one of the co-founders of SAWERA was shot dead while on her way to work and in 2013 the SAWERA offices were bombed, causing extensive damage to the infrastructure of the office building and the organisation's technical equipment. The staff at SAWERA continue to receive threatening telephone calls demanding that they cease their work but, despite the risks, they continue to work on issues pertaining to women's rights in one of the most traditional and culturally sensitive regions in Pakistan.