International Human Rights and Sharia Law Attorney.
Winner of European Parliament 2005 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought.
When I was a child in the small village of Hinnah, Gombe State, Northern Nigeria, I saw for the first time a woman with a graduation mortarboard and gown. The image of that young woman—educated, confident, and worldly—was burned into my conscience and became my living dream. It is neither normal nor customary for a woman of my community to harbor such a dream in a culture that does not fully encourage equal development for men and women. The story of this passage from young dreamer to mature barrister and solicitor has been presented in periodicals and in the media, so I will only provide some citations for the curious. I cannot help but stare at times at my image in a photo taken a few years ago, in a cap, a gown, and colorful hood that represent a Masters in Law. Only a short time ago, it seems, that was the photo of a confident, educated, worldly stranger. Now, it is me, and it can be you too.