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Vote - Abda Khan (Positive Role Model Award - Gender)
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ABDA KHAN - BIO
Solicitor – Has run own high street law firm since 1997. She has worked in the legal industry for almost 26 years.
Published Writer – Author of the novel Stained (2016, Harvard Square Editions, USA) and soon to be published novel Razia (Unbound, London), and short pieces (fiction and non-fiction) in various publications, including The Guardian newspaper, Red Pepper Magazine and Sister-hood Magazine.
Trustee (& Formerly Helpline Volunteer) with Birmingham & Solihull Women’s Aid (the Midlands leading women’s domestic violence charity).
Mentor secondary school children with Mosaic (a Prince’s Trust Charity) and a Mayor’s Mentor
Ambassador – for Women of the Future Programme
Recipient of an IKWRO ‘True Honour’ Award
Highly Commended as a Finalist in Nat West Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017 (Arts & Culture category)
Named as the Your Saheli ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year’ 2018
Patron & Speaker at the First International Youth Summit, Lahore, Pakistan and Youthopia International Youth Summit Karachi, Pakistan
Abda Khan is a lawyer, published writer and public speaker.
Abda is passionate about gender equality, and has a deep interest in issues pertaining to women’s rights, and in particular regarding domestic abuse, sexual violence, ‘honour’ based violence, modern day slavery, human trafficking, sexism and feminism.
Abda was born in a deprived inner city area of Bradford, West Yorkshire, in 1969. She was the seventh of eight children born to Pakistani immigrant parents, and the first of their children to be born in the UK. Her father worked in a mill and her mother was a housewife.
Abda was the first child in her family to sit ‘A’ levels, and go on to higher education, despite losing her mother just months before her ‘A’ level exams.
Although she was told by her careers officer that should shouldn’t try and aim so high and should set her sights on a simple job, Abda went on to study Law at Manchester Metropolitan University, and in 1994 she qualified as a Solicitor. She undertook her training at a law firm in Keighley, North Yorkshire and then went on to work for a busy Criminal law practice in Bradford. She moved to Birmingham in 1995, and set up her own law firm in 1997 in Smethwick.
Abda started writing fiction a few years ago. Stained, her debut novel, which was published in the USA by Harvard Square Editions in 2016, was described by Booklist (the leading national journal for American librarians) as the “contemporary Tess of the d’Urbervilles”. The novel deals with many taboo subjects, including rape and ‘honour’ issues. Abda was inspired to write Stained because of her observations and experiences, garnered through her job and the communities in which she lived and worked, of the difficulties faced by women in the British South Asian and Muslim communities, and also due to the lack of contemporary British fiction depicting such characters and subjects.
Abda’s latest novel, Razia, will be published early 2019 by award winning publisher London publisher Unbound. It is the story of a British Asian lawyer who becomes embroiled in the life of a domestic slave, the plight of whom leads her all the way to Pakistan, and into the shady world of bonded slavery and corruption. It also examines ‘honour’ based violence, gender inequality, cultural pressures and identity, all told through a gripping, compelling and inspirational tale.
Abda is an experienced International speaker and a dedicated activist for women’s rights; she speaks at literary events and festivals, at panel talks and debates, at inter-faith forums, and delivers motivational talks at meetings, schools, universities, prisons, private gatherings and charitable events. She is a regular speaker for the Muslim Women in Prison Project, delivering inspirational talks to British Muslim female prisoners. Abda also makes regular television and radio appearances.
Abda was recognised by IKWRO (Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation) with a True Honour Award in 2017 for her work in the field of ‘honour’ abuse in highlighting the problem through her novel Stained. She was Highly Commended by the Judges as a finalist in the Arts & Culture category of the Nat West Asian Women of Achievement Awards 2017, again as a result of her book Stained. More recently she was named the ‘Inspirational Woman of the Year 2018’ by the women’s empowerment organisation ‘Your Saheli’.
Abda is also a School Mentor with the Prince’s Trust Charity Mosaic, a West Midlands Mayor’s Mentor, a Trustee with Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid, and a ‘Women of the Future’ Ambassador.
She is also a Patron of and Speaker at the International Youth Summit Lahore, Pakistan, and will be speaking at Youthopia, the first International Youth Summit to be held in Karachi in August 2018.
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS
Linked In: www.linkedin.com/in/abda-khan-25729a11a