Khalida Brohi, Entrepreneur & Activist

Balochistan, Pakistan

“I was not born destined to be a leader, nor was I destined to be educated and I was certainly not born to be a changemaker for the thousands of women residing in the tribal areas of Pakistan. My destiny was to be a child bride, a custom my father bravely broke free by refusing to let me become victim to such a harmful tradition. My story begins in the small village of Balochistan in Pakistan, where I was born as the eldest daughter with nine siblings to a teenage mother, who was married at the age of 9. Despite growing up in poverty, I was the first girl in my village to go to school. My father worked endless odd jobs to ensure that my siblings and I received better opportunities in life. I dreamed of becoming a doctor. But suddenly my whole world fell apart. My cousin and good friend fell victim to honour killing. That was the moment I became an activist. I decided to fight back and change the dichotomy of honour. Our lives were our honour, not anyone else’s. I was only 16 when I started my activism, so young and with immense hope to change the world. I sought every opportunity to advocate for the rights of girls and women at any event, rally or conference and by writing poetry and sharing stories. I also started Sughar Foundation to teach women in tribal communities life and entrepreneurship skills so they can launch their own small businesses. It’s been a long journey, with many ups and downs, lessons learned and painful experiences. I have fought injustice, voiced for our rights and rallied to improve life for women and girls. Each experience has empowered me to grow stronger, not just to fight for my honour, but for every girl’s honour. Today, Sughar Foundation serves thousands of women in villages across Pakistan. My goal is to one day empower one million women across South Asia. This is what keeps me sharing my story.” Khalida Brohi, Entrepreneur & Activist

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