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PeaceWoman Asma Jahangir passes away at the age of 66

We are very sad to have to announce that PeaceWoman Asma Jahangir, the leading Pakistani rights activist, has passed away in Lahore after a heart attack, aged 66.

Asma, who was a human rights lawyer and fearless critic of the military’s interference in politics, had a reputation of speaking truth to power and defending the weak, the marginalised, women and minorities against injustice. She was the founding Chair of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent group, and was a trustee of the International Crisis Group. She won several local and international awards and served as the United Nations rapporteur on human rights and extrajudicial killings.

Asma was exposed to politics and activism at an early age. Her father, Malik Ghulam Jilani, was a civil servant and a left-wing politician who was frequently jailed for opposing military dictators. Asma initially appeared in court to represent her jailed father. Her first foray into politics was in 1969, when she participated in a women’s march to the residence of the governor of Punjab and clashed with the police. In 1983, she was put under house arrest and later imprisoned when she campaigned for women’s rights and democracy during the rule of Gen. Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq. She was also placed under house arrest in 2007 for her part in a lawyers’ protest movement that helped lead to the military leader Pervez Musharraf stepping down from power.

Her criticism of the country’s military and its intelligence agencies made her a target of campaigns on television and social media. She was repeatedly threatened by the country’s militant religious right, whom she criticized loudly and often.

The Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan said in a statement that Ms Jehangir was not only a jewel of the legal fraternity of Pakistan but was also a great human being. “Her voice raised for women’s rights, child abuse and women’s protection changed the course of society rights in Pakistan.”

Sources: New York Times, The Guardian, The Washington Post, The Hindu

Find out more about Asma's work in her Biography.

30 Women's PeaceTables in 2017!

This year around October Women's PeaceTableas have taken place in 30 differents regions throughout the world. Women have come together to disuss their activism for peace and to raise awareness on UN resolution 1325. 

PeaceWomen Across the Globe is happy, that in 2017 Women's PeaceTables have taken place in Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Colombia, DR Congo (South Kuvu and Nord-Kuvu),  Fiji, Honduras, India (Kashmir and Manipur), Indonesia (East Sumba and Bali), Kenya,  Laos, Mali (Bamako and Niono), Morocco, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Senegal, Sri Lanka (Nuwara Eliya and Trincomalee), Sudan, Switzerland and Vanuatu. 

Learn more about the Women's PeaceTable project.