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History      Geuzen Monument      Commemoration      Geuzen Medal      Geuzenpenning Foundation     
                                                     
2002 Asma Jahangir, Pakistani lawyer and women’s rights advocate

 

Presented by Benk H. Korthals, Minister of Justice

Asma Jahangir, born into a politically active family in the 1950s, was sworn in as a lawyer in 1978. At the time, many laws passed in Pakistan had an anti-female bias. Anything to do with women was obscene and un-Islamic. Asma founded the Punjab Women Lawyer’s Association and the Women’s Action Forum, an action group that opposed discriminatory legislation of all kinds. Asma was regularly imprisoned for participation in ‘subversive’ activities.

In 1982 she joined Pakistan’s High Court as a barrister and specialised in matters relating to victims of family and fundamentalist violence.

In 1986 she set up Pakistan’s first legal aid centre, which provided a safe refuge for women faced with violence of whatever kind.

 

In 1992 she became a barrister in Pakistan’s Supreme Court. She then became a member of various international and UN organisations whose main focus was the promotion and enforcement of women’s rights. She and her family have received death threats and several attempts have been made on her life. She is the recipient of a number of international honours.


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