Naema Tahir is a British-Dutch writer, lecturer and human rights lawyer. She is considered to belong to the avant garde of women in Europe who strive towards the emancipation of women of immigrant origin.
Naema Tahir studied Dutch and International Law at Leiden University. She worked as a lawyer for ten years at various Dutch Ministries and the UNHCR (as protection officer in Lagos, Nigeria). She was a lawyer at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and specialized in economic and social human rights, a position she obtained through a competitive national exam.
At the Council, she was appointed as a member of the Equal Opportunities Board by the Deputy Secretary General. Tahir has authored books on the topic of migration, as well as on the empowerment of immigrant women, their human rights and identity, which was published in the Netherlands. She has written novels, as well as works of non-fiction. Her novel “Eenzaam heden” (Lonesome today, 2008 Prometheus) dealt with the issue of identity of an isolated Pakistani family in London in a humoristic manner. Her novel ‘De Bruid’ (Brides choice) dealt with the topic of arranged marriages in Europe.
In 2015, she launched ‘Gesluierde Vrijheid’ (Veiled Freedoms), a collection of essays on how human rights are exercised in collective cultures. Tahir is frequently featured in the media in The Netherlands and abroad. In 2008, she appeared as a guest in the prestigious Dutch television programme Zomergasten. Tahir has also been board member of various organisations: E-Quality, Amnesty International, Worldconnectors and Human Rights Watch Amsterdam. In 2009, Tahir became member of the Reading and Writing Foundation, which aims to combat illiteracy. In 2015, she was appointed member of the Advisory Council of International Affairs of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.