A woman of substance

  • Tackling injustice requires perseverance

Mar 13, 2018-

When women believe in themselves it’s true to say the rest does follow. This month, 39-year-old Krishna Kumari Kohli, a former child bride from a low-caste Hindu community in Sindh’s Tharparkar district, won a seat in Pakistan’s Senate. 

This is a historic achievement given Ms Kohli has suffered discrimination and poverty and spent two years as a child with her family shackled to a life of hard labour on fields owned by feudal landlords. In her words, she could never have envisaged a seat in the upper echelons of political power, especially when around only one in five women hold parliamentary seats in male-dominated assemblies. As the first Dalit female member of the Senate, Ms Kohli, who ran on a PPP ticket, had perhaps underestimated her abilities. Over years she has shown indefatigable determination to bring about change through her grass-roots activism focusing on education and ending child marriages and bonded labour. Having married at 15, though fortunate enough to attend university, she knows of the travails of young mothers. 

So how she uses her new position for bringing development to districts with some of the country’s worst socioeconomic indicators will be her test. Preventing child marriage, ending malnutrition, and decreasing maternal and child mortality rates are not easy challenges when corruption is rife and resources poorly allocated. Tackling such entrenched injustices requires perseverance.

Published: 13-03-2018 07:58

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