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An inspiring personal story by the most prominent Muslim woman activist and legislator for women’s rights in Pakistan.
In the fall of 2001, a newlywed English professor took on a job editing the “women’s section” of one of Pakistan’s
leading Urdu newspapers. She soon transformed pages of celebrity gossip and fashion advice into a vehicle for the
investigation of the true lives of Pakistani women. News of acid attacks on hapless women, the trading of girls as
currency in tribal disputes, and other abuses transformed this young mother into a fiery advocate for women’s rights―one
guided by Islamic ethics and ideals of social justice as she taught rural leaders to distinguish between religion and
tribal custom. Her commitment to her countrywomen led her to a seat in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, where she
fought to protect women, girls, and the poor.
Humaira Awais Shahid’s extraordinarily warm and passionate voice provides remarkable insight into how Islamic values and
ethics might yet be a vehicle for progressive change in the developing world.