Join us for the kickoff of the ANH Academy Week 2021.
Inaugural opening speech
Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
We are thrilled to announce our keynote speaker:
Ms. Tanzila Qamberani, Member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, Pakistan
Tanzila Qamberani was elected to the provincial assembly of Sindh – the second largest province of Pakistan – in 2018. She is the first person representing the Sheedi community – Sindhis of African origin – to have been elected to the provincial legislature. Tanzila was born in Matli, a small town in the Badin district of Sindh in southern Pakistan, into a family known for its activism for the Sheedi community which has endured a history of slavery and racism. She completed her schooling in her hometown and was one of the first women from her community to go to university and did her masters in computer science before embarking on a career as a development worker.
Tanzila decided to join active politics in 2010 and was elected a local councilor in her hometown in 2016. She challenged prevailing gender and racial hierarchies in the locality by gaining the nomination of her party for the position of the head of the town council. She was defeated in this bid by former colleagues from a dominant landowning faction who ran a racist campaign against her candidature. Tanzila sees that struggle as a defining feature in her political career – and one that highlighted publicly the racial slights and indignities suffered by women and men of the Sheedi community on a daily basis. Her resilience in this struggle was recognized by the national leadership of her party who nominated her for a higher public office in 2018.
Tanzila believes that it is her duty to act not only for the Sheedi community but for other marginalized segments of society. She has been at the forefront of campaigning for the equal treatment in law of the transgender community.