Stories

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A fatwa was issed against me; they condemned me for normalizing obscenity and indecency among women by persuading them to come out of their homes. … I said, ‘You should also give a fatwa against Hazrat Khadija (the first wife of Prophet Muhammad) because she was also a trader.’ “God has not made us as weak as we have made ourselves.”
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At the age of two, my leg became disabled due to polio. I didn’t realize how sheltered and protected I was from society’s gossip when my parents were alive. My parents encouraged me to pursue education – not to let polio limit life’s opportunities. Unfortunately, by 2005 both my parents had passed away. Being one of the eldest siblings, I took upon myself to look after my six sisters and two brothers. To make ends meet, I took on numerous odd jobs and used to crawl my way to clean people’s homes or wash clothes. In 2007, I pursued a fashion design course to strengthen the hand embroidery lessons I had received from my Dadi (grandmother).
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Billions of people across the world stand on the right side of history every day. They speak up, take a stand, mobilize, and take big and small actions to advance women’s rights. This is Generation Equality. "I used to do taekwondo in Hunza when I was young with my instructor and my brother. My family always supported me and encouraged my enthusiasm towards MMA, which is why I have accomplished so much and gained respect and admiration globally."
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Photo courtesy of Tahir Watto I belong to a marginalized sector of my country where educated women are confined into four walls in rural settings. I was married into a traditional setup: four walls, agricultural land, and an educated husband, that is where my fate changed and my story began. My name is Sahar Iqbal and I am a farmer in Pakpattan, a city in the Southern Punjab province. I started from converting our waterlogged barren land into a productive landscape to provide women who...