Asma Jahangir

Asma Jahangir (1952-2018)

Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.

Quote: “I am certainly not a martyr kind of a person. I love my life. But if one has to, then there is nothing more nobler a cause that I can think of.”



  • Asma Jahangir was born in 1952 to Malik Ghulam Jilani, a civil servant, and Shabiba, one of the few women in her time to attend a co-education school.
  • Asma was an activist even at a young age. When attending school, she organized a protest to demand that the head girl be elected by the students, instead of being selected. 50 years later, the school still follows this system.
  • After marrying Tahir Jahangir, Asma tried to pursue her law degree but was told that married women were prohibited from attending class. She decided to study at home and received her law degree in 1978.
  • In the 1980’s Asma, her sister, and two other female friends started a law firm, creating Pakistan’s first all-women law firm.
  • Asma co-founded the Human Rights Commission in 1987 and later became its chairperson.
  • In 2010, Asma became president of the Supreme Court Bar Association. She was the first woman to hold this position in Pakistan.
  • Asma Jahangir passed in February 2018.


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