Humaira Awais Shahid, Advocate for Women’s Rights in Pakistan and Beyond

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Humaira Awais Shahid took on a job editing the “women’s section” of one of Pakistan’s leading Urdu newspapers in 2001, and she soon transformed it from celebrity gossip and fashion advice to an investigation of the true lives of Pakistani women. News of acid attacks on women, the trading of girls as currency in tribal disputes, and other abuses Shahid into an advocate for women’s rights. She tells how her commitment to women led her to a seat in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab, where she fought to protect women, girls, and the poor. In her book Devotion and Defiance: My Journey in Love, Faith and Politics, she looks at how Islamic values and ethics might yet be a vehicle for progressive change in the developing world.