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Warwick Researcher is Britain's First Female Pakistani Professor of Law

Originally published 19 May 2003

Researcher Shaheen Sardar Ali at the University of Warwick is the first female Pakistani in the UK to be appointed to the position of Professor of Law.

The Former Minister for Health, Population Welfare and Women's Development in the Pakistan Government (1999-2001) is a distinguished authority on the International Law of Human Rights, and Gender and Development. Admired world wide for her work in gender equality and human rights she has also acted as Chair of the National Commission on the Status of Women of Pakistan (2000-2001).

Professor Shaheen Ali has served on the National Commission of Inquiry on Women as well as the Prime Minister's Consultative Committee on Women in Pakistan. She is one of the founders and Co-ordinator of the South Asian Research Network on Gender, Law and Governance.

Commenting on her appointment Professor Shaheen Ali said: “I am really honoured to be appointed as a Professor, especially since it is yet another ‘first’. I was the first female to become a Law Professor in Pakistan, the first woman minister in the cabinet of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan and now this professorial appointment! But it is also a truly humbling experience and I feel I have been very fortunate; everyone at Warwick has been so welcoming and the warmth of friends and colleagues has been simply amazing.”

Before joining the University of Warwick School of Law in 1998 Shaheen Ali was the first female Professor of Law in Pakistan, at the University of Peshawar. She has also achieved a Bachelor of Arts, Master in Political Science and a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Peshawar and a Master of International Business Law from the University of Hull. She also achieved her PhD at the University of Hull.

Her current teaching interests include International Law of Human Rights, Public International Law, Women's Human Right's Children's Rights, Islamic Law and Jurisprudence, Gender and the Law. She regularly acts as a consultant for a range of international bodies, and is a member of the British Council Task Force on Gender and Development.

Her numerous prestigious awards include the British Muslims Annual Honours achievement plaque in the House of Lords in May 2002 and the Star Women Award of the Year (1996) in the field of Law by The Star Girls and Women Foundation, Pakistan. She also received the Aizaz-I-Fazilat (Presidential Award) 1992 for her contributions to higher education and research in Pakistan and an Honourable mention in the UNESCO Prize for development of the teaching of human rights, 1992.

Many of her books and publications have received worldwide acclaim, including “Gender and Human Rights in Islam and International Law. Equal before Allah, Unequal before Man?” (2000) And “Indigenous peoples and Ethnic Minorities of Pakistan Constitutional and Legal Perspectives” (2001).

For further information contact:

Professor Shaheen Ali, University of Warwick, School of Law, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574255, Email:

Jenny Murray, Assistant Press Officer, University of Warwick, Tel: 02476 574255, Mobile: 07876 217740