Asma Jahangir is considered a leading Pakistani lawyer who defends mainly the women, children and religious minorities of Pakistan who are framed for crimes they did not commit. She formed the first law firm established by women in the country and also set up the AGHS Legal Aid Centre in 1986, for the ‘promotion, protection and implementation of human rights’. She gives free legal aid, raises legal awareness, monitors the exploitation of human rights and particularly concentrates on the representation of women in court.

Despite her trying to create a change, Jahangir has immense criticism levied against her from the public. This quote makes her one of the few leaders of the country that truly understand how the system will change in Pakistan- only if the ordinary citizen fights for his or her fights. We need support advocates like her, rather than shunning them for their apparent ‘radical’ thoughts.

“Eventually things will have to get better. However, the way they will improve is not going to be because of the government or the elite leadership, or the political leadership, or the institutions of our country, most of which have actually crumbled. It will be the people of the country themselves who will bring about the change in society because they have had to struggle to fend for themselves at every level. I am convinced that today there are many more Governments that are beginning to see that they cannot neglect people’s rights and that these have to be respected because there is a huge demand for it. And the demand is being heard louder and louder by Governments.”

–Asma Jahangir, 2010.