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Sept. 27, 28: Pakistani social entrepreneur delivers talks

By Beverly Makhani, Undergraduate Education

khalida-brohi-webPULLMAN and RICHLAND, Wash. – Khalida Brohi, a Pakistani activist for women’s rights, will present “The Solution is Education, Not Legislation” as the Washington State University common reading invited lecturer Sept. 27 in Pullman and Sept. 28 in the Tri-Cities.

She will speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the CUB ballroom in Pullman. She will speak to the WSU Tri-Cities campus community at 3:10 p.m. and to the public at 7 p.m. Wednesday in East Auditorium.

“I will be talking about the constant emphasis everyone puts on changing policies in countries like Pakistan,” said Brohi. “I come from a rural background and have seen the huge gap between the way tribal communities operate and the policies of the country. (Sometimes) no law can protect a woman unless the tribal men and women are educated.”

As a teenager in Pakistan, Brohi witnessed the “honor killing” of a friend who married someone she loved instead of a family-approved choice. Following her father’s advice of “Don’t cry, strategize!” Brohi founded and directs the Sughar Empowerment Society ( and is the chief visionary officer of the Sughar Foundation.

The nonprofit organization supports rural and tribal women in Pakistan to improve their quality of life by empowering them socio-economically, emotionally and intellectually.

Brohi was recognized in 2014 as a “Forbes 30 Under 30” top young world leader in the social entrepreneurship category, which honors those who leverage business tools to improve the world. She has been profiled in The Daily Beast, Huffington Post and NBC News. She delivered a TED talk in 2015: “How I Work to Protect Women from Honor Killings.”

“Much of Brohi’s life parallels that of her fellow Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, the author of this year’s common reading book,” said Susan Poch, program co-director. “I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban,” is being read by thousands of WSU first-year and other students at campuses in Pullman, Tri-Cities, Spokane, Puget Sound/Everett and the Global Campus.

The two-year “leadership and social justice” common reading theme is in keeping with WSU’s Grand Challenges, a suite of initiatives aimed at large societal issues. It is particularly relevant to the challenge of advancing opportunity and equity. For more information, visit (Pullman) and (Tri-Cities).


Karen Weathermon, WSU Pullman common reading, 509-335-5488,
Susan Poch, WSU Pullman common reading, 509-335-6037,
Kate McAteer, WSU Tri-Cities common reading, 509-272-7371,


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