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In autumn 2001, a newly-wed professor of English took on a job editing the "women's section" of one of Pakistan's leading Urdu newspapers. She soon transformed pages of celebrity gossip and fashion advice into a vehicle for the investigation of the lives of Pakistani women. News of acid attacks, the trading of girls as currency in tribal disputes and other abuses transformed this young mother into a fiery advocate for women's rights - one guided by Islamic ethics and ideals of social justice as she taught rural leaders to distinguish between religion and tribal custom. Her commitment to her countrywomen led her to a seat in the Provincial Assembly of the Punjab. Humaira Awais Shahid's extraordinary voice provides remarkable insight into how Islamic values and ethics might yet be a vehicle for progressive change in the developing world.
WW Norton & Co
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