Veero Kohli:From a Slave to a contestant in national elections,one woman’s journey

Veero Kohli-Former slave turns politician

Veero Kohli, is the first contestant in General elections in Pakistan to have escaped the thrall of a feudal-style land owner who forced his workers to work in conditions akin to modern-day slavery. In a rural area of Sindh Veero escaped from her captors in the middle of the night and had to walk a long way barefoot, to seek help. After a long ordeal, she finally succeeded in ensuring her own freedom and 39 other labourers including her family. She took the terrifying risk to ensure the safety of her daughters. She feared that the landlord would sexually abuse her daughter.

Her courage and bravery won her the Fredrick Douglas Freedom Award. Continue reading

Update on Domestic Violence Bill 2009

As Pakistan is moving towards being an economically sound country, the situation for the 52 percent of the country’s population which compromises of women is not catching up with the speed. One of the recent improvement efforts is the introduction of Domestic Violence (Prevention and Protection) Bill 2009, the first legislative step of its kind in the history of the country, which covers effective legal measures, civil remedies and compensatory provisions for the aggrieved persons. Continue reading

ICTs and the case of young Pakistani women

A close friend, 19 year old Nazira, wore her best dress one evening. She came to show me her outfit before she went out to see someone ‘special’. Three hours later, she returned devastated; she could hardly speak. She wore a ‘burqa’ on top of what was left of her dress. Her rosy cheeks looked pale and eyes were sore. She was gang raped by the person she went to see and his friends. A male member from her family had seen her in that condition. Continue reading

Videos from the rally to support the DCO Layyah and EDO (Health)

Three videos from the rally on 20 september 2010. I made these videos when Layyah city’s business community and doctors association decided to show solidarity with the DCO Layyah, EDO (Health) and the Christian Nursing School principal who was threatened to leave her post or face severe consequences. Continue reading

Layyah student nurses on the barricades

During a recent visit to Layyah, I came across a road blockade which was not the usual barriers in reaction to security concerns in the bigger cities of Pakistan. In a town of nearly 500000 people, the main road in front of the District Headquarters hospital of Layyah was blocked by angry nursing students on September 17th and their banners demanded ‘removal of incompetent principal and Executive District Officer (Health)’ and ‘protection for nurses.’ Continue reading