ActionAid Inspires Women in Security

Javeria Ayaz Malik

Originally from Pakistan, Javeria is a security expert who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. In her role she coordinates the organisation’s safety and security policy and establishes external relationships with global security networks. Javeria also advises ActionAid’s leadership on appropriate security management strategies aimed at reducing the safety and security risks staff may face in the course of their duties.

Responsible for overseeing the security management skills of hundreds of staff in more than 40 countries via a network of security focal persons, Javeria drew upon her personal experiences inspiring the audience with her knowledge and relating it to the daily challenges faced by many UK security professionals.

Working mainly with communities living in poverty, women’s groups, social movements and human rights defenders Javeria highlighted that contrary to common perception, women at grassroots level take a lead role in security management.  Developing a deep contextual understanding, crisis management and knowledge management are universal themes in today’s environment. Javeria’s address resonated with many in the audience who operate in highly challenging environments such as Sodexo’s finalist Susan Markou, a security officer within healthcare responsible for assessing risk and managing volatile situations on a daily basis.

As a certified and experienced security trainer, Javeria’s training curriculums and methodologies include specific modules particularly aimed at enhancing protection strategies for human rights’ defenders.  In the case of female human rights’ defenders working in challenging environments around the world, this is particularly pertinent.

Javeria Ayaz Malik said “Given the diverse geographical areas in which we operate, different cultures, political environments and the very nature of our work, the security challenges ActionAid faces are highly complex. However the fundamental challenges we all face as security professionals are significant and growing.

“It was fantastic to be part of the Women in Security Awards and to witness first-hand this celebration of talented women within the UK security industry who have demonstrated such outstanding commitment to safeguarding our communities.”

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