Krishna Kumar Kohli, a Hindu woman from Pakistan, created history on Women's Day 2019 by chairing the country's Upper House of Parliament. Krishna had earlier made headlines when she became the first Dalit Hindu woman in Pakistan to be elected to the senate. The 40-year-old, also known as Kishoo Bai, is part of the Pakistan People's Party.
Krishna began the session by expressing her gratitude to the government for allowing her to chair the session. According to The News, a Pakistan media organization, she said: "I consider myself very fortunate today to be sitting on this seat, I salute Pakistan and I salute Pakistan's people and I am proud to be a Pakistani and only Pakistani."
The announcement that Krishna would be chairing the senate was made by Senator Faisal Javed, a Pakistan politician. He tweeted: "Chairman Senate of Pakistan decided to make our colleague Krishna Kumari Kohli aka Kishoo Bai to Chair the Senate for today on #WomensDay #DoYouKnowRealPakistan."
Krishna had a very difficult childhood. "We didn't have electricity so I used to study under the light of an oil lantern," she once told Geo News. She was born to a Dalit peasant family in February 1979. When she was in class 3, she and her family were imprisoned in a private jail for three years. The jail was owned by the landlord of Kunri, Umerkot district, reports Times of India.
Krishna was then married off when she was 16-years-old. She was studying in class 9 then. Krishna did not stop her studies after her wedding and went on to pursue her master's degree in sociology at the Sindh University in 2013.
Along with her brother, Krishna joined the Pakistan People's Party as a social activist and rose through the ranks. Her brother went on to get elected as the Chairman of the Union Council Berano. Some of the areas Krishna focused on as a political leader were the rights of bonded labourers in the country. In 2018, Krishna made it to BBC's top 100 women of 2018 list which features 100 inspiring women globally.