The APWA UK was registered as a Charity with the Charity Commission of England and Wales on the 19th May 2010.
It was set up by the then APWA President, Laila Haroon Sarfaraz, with Bashan Rafique, Farida Rafiuddin and Samia Liaquat Ali Khan. By that date over a million British Pakistanis had made the UK their home.
The Charity was launched at the House of Lords on the 5th July 2010 under the Patronage of Baroness Shreela Flather at The River Room, the Lord Speaker’s Apartment. The Chief Guest was Baroness Hayman, Speaker of the House of Lords .
The charity is run by its Trustees. The wife of the Pakistan High Commissioner in Britain is the ex officio Honorary Patron of APWA UK. It has the registered number 1136005 and is subject to the laws of England and Wales. The Charity Commission is a non-ministerial government department which registers and regulates charities. It is the independent regulator of charities. Registered Charities in the UK have the advantage of being able to claim Gift Aid amounting to a further 25% on certain donations. They are all answerable to The Charity Commission.
Our mission is to give the British Pakistani women a platform and a voice in the United Kingdom so that they could contribute to Great Britain and also integrate and benefit from what it has to offer. Our aim is to inspire women to develop their potential. The United Kingdom has over a million Pakistanis who have made it their home. We are here to serve them .
We now feel the time is right for APWA UK to concentrate on British women of Pakistani origin and we aim to encourage our members to contribute to community work in GB. We support women in the community by putting them in touch with government departments that can assist and our net work of lawyers that are willing to help them. We provide emergency financial assistance through our “zakat” programme for those in dire need.
Formation of APWA
It was 22nd February 1949, at a Women’s Conference held at the Prime Minister’s residence, (10 Victoria Road, Karachi, Pakistan) that Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan formed the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA).
She was the wife of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan (1947-51) who was one of Pakistan’s Founding Fathers.
Why was there a need for APWA?
The main objective of APWA at the time of it’s formation was to mobilise Pakistani women to deal with a refugee crisis after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947. There was an overwhelming need for women to help fellow women during this period of social and economic change. APWA came to prominence as a women’s social welfare organisation and was represented in every District of every Province of Pakistan and at all the embassies which were headed by the wives of the District Commissioners, High Commissioners and Ambassadors all over the world. This tradition continues today.
Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan said in her speech at the Launch of APWA, 1949:
“Such a nation-wide association would have added benefit of possible affiliation to other world organisations of a similar nature, and would give its members, when sent abroad, the sort of ‘official’ standing they require in order to make the proper contacts and to speak with authority. This, to my mind, is a very important part the Association can play, and one that we, the much maligned, much misunderstood and little known women of this new nation , stand in great need of.
Such an Association will also serve to unite us all more closely together, to obliterate the petty differences of caste, creed, colour and the outmoded but ever present menace of provincialism, for it is as the citizens of Pakistan, the women of Pakistan, that we have associated ourselves together to fight the evils of ignorance, poverty and disease, so that this land, which belongs to all of us and to our children, may become a happier, healthier, and better place”.