An Interview with Khalida Brohi
How and why did you decide to stop talking and taking actions, e.g. be an entrepreneur?
Coming from the tribal communities of Pakistan and then again having the opportunity to be able to do my education in Karachi was something that led me to think the difference between me and the other girls in my community, why was I enjoying freedom when they lived such hard lives as being married off in young ages, exchanged into marriage, deprived of education and facing violence. When the differences started to become overwhelming for me to take I in the age of 16 years old decided to take initiative and hence with a group of young people started to fight the customs that led to male domination and dis-empowerment of women.
Why do you think you are the right person to address the issue?
I am sure there a millions of people like me who can stand up and say no to centuries old behaviors, I for one got the realization of how and where was it wrong and hence started to work against it. I believe if informed and made aware a whole revolution of open minded people can stand up to make change a reality for those who couldn’t speak for themselves and lost their lives for something not assigned by any religion, nor law but a crime wrapped in the name of honor.
You work on a very sensitive issue of fighting honor killings in Pakistan. What impact/ result would satisfy your desire to make an impact?
Changed perspectives of tribal men and women empowerment. All that we focus on is how do we make people realize that they have been using a dirty glass without even telling them they are, but in fact showing them a clean glass. The realization of Honor Killings being a crime is one of the main goals that we want o achieve, because customs in any traditional setup are all equal may it be celebrating an important day or killing to restore honor and these kinds of customs have got to go just by letting people know how wrong they are.
You have come so far since your started, what is your key to your success?
Like I said, The notion to not actually stand against peoples beliefs but respecting their traditions and letting them be aware where they are wrong. While emphasizing on the beautiful traditions in tribal setups here we have brought about the difference between the right and wrong. The second reason to success is the other-side of root cause to honor killings, when women themselves submit to these mental behaviors believing its their fate to be living under such strict laws and to follow them. We wanted that to change and hence empowering women by giving them socio-economic support we also provide them the mentality of where their own worth is.
What do you want to achieve?
Justice. Social Justice is what PDI fights for by a participatory approach to make everyone part of the change process. We aim for a day when women are not killed for honor, but are honored and given equal status!
How can people inspire by your cause and actions can help you?
PDI strives for participatory approach to development, and thus the first help that we need is for people to join hands to raise awareness on this issue and become part of any campaigns in their countries or online to stand against this crime. PDI runs WAKE UP Campaign against honor killing online on facebook which needs change agents from around the world who can become voice for those who lost their lives having no voice to speak for their rights.