She is one of the 1000 women proposed fort the Nobel Peace Price 2005.
She says: “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.”
Krishna Ahooja-Patel – India
She works for the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF).
And she says: “We are going to eliminate racism within the organization and train women in conflict areas to be leaders and part of the peace process.” (Read all on smu.ca).
And also: “We are not recognising the multi-identity of a human being …
… The many dimensions to a human being are now more complex and we refuse to see it.” (see more on The Hindu).
Krishna Ahooja-Patel’s training in law prepared her for a 25-year-long career with the United Nations, where she worked in various capacities around the world-with the International Labor Organization, the UN Institute of Research and Training for the Advancement of Women, and the Women’s World Summit. As president of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), Krishna brings decades of experience to take forward the many WILPF agendas for peace education, women’s rights, disarmament, and strengthening the UN.
Krishna Ahooja-Patel (born 1929) is president of the oldest women’s peace organization in the world – the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) – a responsibility that she ably fullfills even at 75. Her work over the past five decades has contributed to legal, political, and feminist issues at the national and international levels. Krishna was born in Amritsar in a Hindu-Sikh family, the eldest of five sisters and brothers. Her father was a progressive-thinking businessperson; her mother did not work outside the home. In 1942, the family went to Bombay, where the 13-year-old heard Gandhi deliver his famous “Quit India” speech at her school.
For the deeply moved Krishna this proved to be the beginning of Gandhi’s influence on her thinking.
In 1947, Krishna sailed to Great Britain to study law. She worked for the BBC till 1962, met and married an Indian BBC reporter, whom she later divorced.
In 1962-63 she joined the UN, a career that was to span 25 years. She went to Ethiopia as a law advisor for the International Labor Organization (ILO). After her return to Europe, she worked in Geneva, first as a journalist, and then in the ILO’s Department of Industrial Law. In 1974, she represented the ILO at a conference in Cambridge on Women and Education, marking the beginning of her feminist education. She then began to work in the ILO’s Department for Female Workers.
It was Krishna who came up with the 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 the owners of one per cent of the property.”
From 1977–1987, she edited a journal, Women’s Network. In the 1990s, Krishna was vice-director of the UN Institute of Research and Training for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) in the Dominican Republic, and president of the Women’s World Summit.
In 1995, she traveled with a “peace train” organized by the WILPF to the UN Women’s Conference in Beijing. That was the starting point of her commitment to the WILPF, of which she was elected the first non-white president in 2001. Krishna has helped take forward the WILPF’s many different agendas of peace education, women’s rights, disarmament, strengthening the UN, and so on.
In 2002, Krishna witnessed the riots and massacres in Gujarat, which left her scarred.
In 2003, she organized a peace-and-reconciliation seminar for Hindus and Muslims. Her husband – she had remarried some years after her divorce – and she are both directors at the Institute for Economic Justice and Development at the Gujarat Vidyapith University. An important area for the WILPF and for Krishna, personally, since 2000 has been to have the UN Security Council’s Resolution 1325 translated into as many languages as possible, to spread it worldwide to ensure concerted pressure on the Security Council to implement it. The resolution reaffirms the important role of women in prevention and resolution of conflicts, and in peace-building processes. (Read this on this page of 1000peacewomen).