Nighat Dad’s work focuses on advancing the privacy and freedom of expression rights of people in Pakistan, in particular women, marginalized communities and others whose human rights are at particular risk.
TIME magazine has named Nighat Dad as one of the Next Generation Leaders in 2015 for her work on helping women fight online harassment. She founded the Digital Rights Foundation in 2012, an organisation which focuses on advancing the privacy and the right to freedom of expression for people in Pakistan. Her work has a particular focus on women, marginalized communities and other groups whose human rights are particularly at risk.
Dad aims to counter gender-based harassment, government mass surveillance and company actions that impact individuals’ rights. The Digital Rights Foundation educates people, especially women, on how to respond to online harassment. Journalists and activists also benefit from Dad’s work. In addition to this, she engages in evidence-based public campaigning and research.
Dad conducts her work in the more volatile regions of Pakistan, her work receives a lot of push back, from public agencies, from violent non-governmental actors, and from Pakistani citizens who do not support her work. The measures that the Pakistani government has taken in order to fight violent extremism have put ordinary citizens under the watchful eye of the government, jeopardizing their privacy. Despite the fact that Dad faced personal threats, she continues to selflessly strive for free and safe communication so that others are able to reach their full potential.
This profile is based on the information shared in the nomination form.
Views expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.