Strengthening Human Rights in Bangladesh

Monday, September 9, 2013 - 13:45

Since graduating in 2011, Nausheen Khan has made a name for herself as an active leader of global change. She is consistently selected from impressive applicant pools to participate in multinational projects promoting human rights and international development.

Currently she is part of the Social Innovation in a Digital Context program at the University of Lund in Sweden. The select group of 14, representing countries in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia, will focus on “the relationship between digital technology and socio-political change, and how change makers can harness this relationship to build better societies,” Khan explained. As part of the program, she will create and implement a project to strengthen human rights and democracy-building in her home country, Bangladesh.

She was also chosen to represent Bangladesh at a UNESCO-sponsored global intergenerational training forum this summer at the University of Connecticut. Khan’s plan stemming from this involves planning an International Youth Day celebration next summer that she hopes will “engage other young people in promoting and practicing human rights.”  Involving youth in this movement is key, she has said, since half the world’s population is under 30 years old.

Khan used her MHC double major in economics and politics as part of a high-level panel of young people who met this past March to shape the United Nations’ future international development agenda, the Post 2015 framework. She has also conducted research and implemented programs for the Khan Foundation, a nongovernmental organization that promotes democratic and socioeconomic development in Bangladesh.  While still a student, she was chosen to be part a group of youth leaders who met with then U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton when she visited Bangladesh. Khan seized the moment to question Clinton about climate change.

“I truly value my Mount Holyoke education and believe it has been pivotal in enabling me to achieve my goals,” said Khan. “As a result, after graduation, I gave talks to prospective students in Bangladesh, promoting Mount Holyoke and sharing the virtues of a liberal arts education offered by such a prestigious institution.”

Given her consistent leadership, it seems as though Khan is destined to change the human-rights climate in Bangladesh and far beyond.