Typical Tuesday with Equality Now’s Mehr Qureshi
Mehr Qureshi is a Program Officer at Equality Now, an international organization that works for the protection and promotion of the rights of women and girls worldwide. March is Women’s History month so we’re especially interested in social innovators working with or on behalf of women. Mehr focuses on combating female genital mutilation and other sexual violence. We asked Mehr to describe her Typical Tuesday in her own words.
Name: Mehr Qureshi
City: New York
Job: Program Officer at Equality Now.
7:30 AM - Wake up to messages from NGO partner in Pakistan updating me on new developments in a legal case we are monitoring. It’s getting late in Pakistan so I call her and discuss developments while simultaneously getting ready for work.
9:30 AM - Get into the office and jump on a Skype call with other program staff in Nairobi, London, D.C., and Amman. We share updates on our work and get advice from each other on how to move forward on various campaigns. I love that Equality Now functions so well as a team and we can bounce ideas off of each other!
10:30 AM - Drink my morning coffee while catching up on news and emails. Suad, our Middle East Consultant in Jordan informs us about a recent child marriage case in Yemen. We discuss it with the global director to see if it might be worthwhile to get involved in the case as part of our advocacy campaign pushing for a minimum age for marriage in Yemen (there is none!!)
11:00-1:00 PM - Finally starting to get some work done as I put finishing touches on a news article on obstacles to justice for survivors of incest in Pakistan.
1:00-1:30 PM - Grab a sandwich from a nearby deli and eat it at my desk. I laugh to myself thinking I had way more free time working as an investment bank analyst compared to working at Equality Now. It’s non-stop here, but I have to smile remembering how utterly unfulfilling I found working in finance. I love my job!
1:30-3:00 PM - Diving into the most productive part of my day! Since our advocacy method involves sending Actions or Alerts to our membership network on human rights violations, I work on an Alert calling upon the Saudi Government to give women the right to drive. While drafting, I dig through various human rights treaties and correspond with our Middle East Consultant.
3:00-4:00 PM - Along with other New York program staff, I meet a group of human rights activists visiting the US. It’s great to make contacts with grass roots groups, hear about their work, and discuss ways we can assist them through our advocacy work.
4:00-5:00 PM - My second coffee for a little boost. I meet with our global director to update her on developments in legal cases we are following and show her a draft of a report to get her feedback.
5:00–6:30 PM - Continue working. Tie up loose ends and send out emails to Nairobi and London offices or partners in various countries about information I need.
7:30–8:30 PM - Every Tuesday I go to a yoga class near my home—it’s a mixture of Brazilian martial arts and vinyasa yoga and is a great workout.
8:30–10:00 PM - Hubby gets home. We catch up on each other’s days. He tells me about how he spent the day in front of an Excel spreadsheet—I try not to smile—I am SO glad I don’t do that anymore. We order in dinner and watch Modern Family on DVR.
10:00-12:00 AM - Check work email, surf the net, read news, and check Facebook.
12:00 AM - Bed time. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about how lucky I am to have a job that I love and that I am actually excited to start my day when I wake up in the morning.
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