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Professor Shaheen Ali in 100 most influential Pakistani women

Dr Shaheen AliProfessor Shaheen Sardar Ali, Professor of Law at the University of Warwick and Vice-Chair of the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, has been included in a list of the 100 most influential Pakistani women in 2012.

The Women Power 100 has named the 100 most powerful and influential Pakistani women in the world. It is dedicated to women who, during the past 60 years, broke records, broke ground, blazed trails, and suffered trials to increase our liberty, safety, and prosperity.

Professor Ali is extensively involved in human rights, women's human rights and Islamic law for its recognition at the United Nations. Her research has had an international impact. She was elected as an Independent Expert on the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention.

She campaigned to get the Government of Pakistan to ratify CEDAW (the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women), also known as the UN Women's Convention.

Her work at the UN offers a valuable opportunity to create an impact on laws and policies at national, regional and international levels.

Professor Ali has had a number of ‘firsts’ in her career:

  • She was the first female law professor in Pakistan;
  • the first female academic of Pakistani origin to become a law professor at a UK university;
  • the first female Cabinet Minister in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan
  • and the first Chair of the National Commission on the Status of Women in Pakistan.

In 2012, she stood as an internationally recognised academic from the University of Warwick and was nominated to join the International Strategic Advisory Board of Oslo University along with two Nobel Laureates and a former Prime Minister.

Professor Ali has received a number of awards including the prestigious Asian Women of Achievement Award (UK Public Sector) in May 2005 and the British Muslims Annual Honours achievement plaque in the House of Lords in May 2002.

She said:

My inclusion in the 100 most influential women of Pakistan is a huge honour as there are many more deserving and more eminent women than myself who remain thus unrecognised. My research has always been grounded in my experiences and activism at the grassroots, which has ensured that its impact in the field of human rights has been recognised by the UN (induction into the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention of which I am Vice-Chair) as well as by women's groups in Pakistan.”