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Remembering Krishna Ahooja-Patel

January 28, 2019

“Women are half of the world’s population, do two-thirds of the work, get one-tenth of the income, and are the owners of one per cent of the property.”

On the 27 December 2018, Krishna Ahooja-Patel, lawyer, lifetime member and a true peace activist of WILPF passed away after a short illness in a retirement home outside Ottawa, Canada, where she had been living the last years.

Krishna Ahooja-Patel, influenced very early in her life by Gandhian ideals, was a tireless advocate of peace, social justice, and women’s empowerment. Her education and training in law prepared her for a 25-year-long career with the UN, where she worked in various capacities around the world, hereunder with the International Labor Organization (ILO), the UN Institute of Research and Training for the Advancement of Women (Instraw), and the Women’s World Summit.

From 2001 – 2004, she served as president of WILPF. She was a stalwart of WILPF, represented the organisation in Geneva at the UN and was particularly engaged with the ILO where we were fortunate to benefit from her enormous experience. Luckily for WILPF, she was tough in arguing her positions on human rights and peace, and fearless in engaging with ambassadors, UN officials whomever she needed to debate with in order to persuade them to act with decency and integrity.

In 1995, she traveled with a “peace train” organised by the WILPF to the UN Women’s Conference in Beijing. It was Krishna who came up with the startling and now-famous UN statistic about women: “Women are half of the world’s population, do two-thirds of the work, get one-tenth of the income, and are owners of one per cent of the property.”  

One of her key issues, was to have the UN Security Council’s resolution 1325 translated into as many languages as possible, in order to spread it worldwide to ensure concerted pressure on the Security Council for its implementation. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts, and in peace-building processes.

Krishna’s involvement with feminist issues and peace initiatives has placed her at the forefront of national and international movements.

If you would like to share a moment you had with Krishna, you are welcome to use the comment field under this post on our facebook page.

Rest in peace.

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