Maryam Bibi

Founder and Chief Executive
Khwendo Kor

Maryam Bibi comes from a small village in the Frontier Region of Bannu in Pakistan. Despite the conservative and patriarchal culture of the region, Maryam was able to acquire an education. She obtained her M.Phil. in Social Policy from the University of York, UK in 2008 and has conducted a research study on gender and women and children related issues in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan.

Maryam Bibi’s early experience also led her to become the founder and Chief Executive of Khwendo Kor www.khwendokor.org.pk. This NGO is based in Pakistan and works in the remote and undeveloped areas of the Khyber Pakhtoon Khwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). It sets out to improve the education, health, and economic well-being of women and their children and thus to strengthen both them and their communities and give them greater control over their own lives. Maryam Bibi has played a key role in the growth and development of Khwendo Kor, which began in 1993 in a single village with four staff members, and now works in more than 300 villages and has 343 staff.

She has received many honors, including:

  • Honorary Doctorate from the University of York, UK (July 2011)
  • Member of the National Commission on the Status of Women, Pakistan
  • IUCN Outstanding Woman Working on Climate Change–Cartaganadores’ award (2007, 2011)
  • National Fatima Jinah Presidential Medal for outstanding women in the social sector (2003, 2010)
  • Synergos Fellowship (2009)
  • International Union for Conservation of Nature (2007)
  • Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize, one of the ‘1000 women’ (2005)
  • The Human Rights Award from International Labor Organization (ILO) (2001)
  • Pakistan National Civil Award Sitar-e-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence), a National Presidential Award (2001)
  • UN Recognition Service Award for services in developing and promoting women’s and children’s rights (2000)