International Women’s Day is being celebrated today (March 8) across the globe to raise awareness about women empowerment and gender equality. Unprecedented global movements for the rights of the women and justice are being observed around the world amid startling revelations of sexual harassment. Worldwide gatherings, conferences, exhibitions, and festivals will be held today to mark the day.
In honour of their determination and bravery, lets have look on some influential women of Pakistan
Post-Independence of Pakistan, Jinnah co-founded the Pakistan Women’s Association which played an integral role in the settlement of the women migrants in the newly formed state. She remained the closest confidant of her brother, Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah until his death, and would forever remain in the heart of every Pakistani.
First democratically elected female leader of a Muslim country. The daughter of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Founder and Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Bhutto took over as chairperson of the PPP in 1982. The formidable advocate of Democracy was martyred in 2007 fighting for democracy
Asma Jilani Jahangir was a Pakistani human rights lawyer and social activist who co-founded and chaired the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. Jahangir was known for playing a prominent role in the Lawyers’ Movement and served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief and as a trustee at the International Crisis Group.
Jahangir is the recipient of several awards including the 2014 Right Livelihood Award (along with Edward Snowden), 2010 Freedom Award, Hilal-i-Imtiaz in 2010, Sitara-i-Imtiaz, Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2005, 1995 Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, and the UNESCO/Bilbao Prize for the Promotion of a Culture of Human Rights. She was awarded a Legion of Honour by France, and in 2016 the University of Pennsylvania Law School awarded her a honorary degree. Jahangir was posthumously awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz on the 23rd March 2018, the highest degree of service to the state, and for services to international diplomacy by Mamnoon Hussain.
Bano Qudsia also known as Bano Aapa, was a Pakistani novelist, playwright and spiritualist. She wrote literature in Urdu, producing novels, dramas and short stories. Qudsia is best known for her novel Raja Gidh. Qudsia also wrote for television and stage in both Urdu and Punjabi languages. Her play Aadhi Baat has been called “a classic”. Bano Qudsia died in Lahore on 4 February 2017.
In 1983, Qudsia was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (Star of Excellence) by the Government of Pakistan. In 2010, the Pakistani government awarded her the Hilal-i-Imtiaz (Crescent of Excellence) for her services in literature.
Parveen Shakir was a famous Urdu Poet, Professor and a Bureaucrat for Government of Pakistan. Some of her famous works are Sad-barg, Khud Kalami, Inkaar and Kaf-e-Aina. Parveen passed away in a car accident in 1994 and left thousands of her followers in tears.
Flying Officer Mariam Mukhtar, 22, during her flight malfunction could have saved her life by ejecting herself out of the plane but both, her and the co-pilot, risked their lives by flying the plane away from the populous area which had a school as well, saving lives of several people. The plane crashed near Mian Wali taking the lives of both the pilots. Mariam Mukhtar a brave woman, chose other’s life over her own and would be forever remembered for her selfless act.
Arfa Abdul Karim Randhawa was a Pakistani student and computer prodigy who, in 2004 at the age of nine, became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP). The brilliant mind left us in 2012 due to a Cardiac Arrest. The little angel would forever be present in the hearts of every Pakistani.
Bahawalpur-born Ayesha Farooq is one of the first women to become a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force.
Farooq admits that she has always been the breadwinner of the family, particularly after her father, who was a doctor, passed away when she was only three years old. In a media interview, she says: “I was always the man of my family.”
Abida Parveen is a Pakistani Sufi Muslim singer, composer and musician. Her singing and music has earned her many accolades, and she has been dubbed as the ‘Queen of Sufi music’. She is also a painter and entrepreneur.
Samina Khayal Baig is a Pakistani high-altitude mountaineer who in 2013 climbed Mount Everest and then all Seven Summits by 2014. She is the first and only Pakistani woman to climb Everest and the Seven Summits. She is also the youngest Muslim woman to climb Mount Everest, having done so at the age of 21.
Samina was the first to climb the peak Chashkin Sar (above 6,000 meters) in Pakistan in 2010, which was later renamed Samina Peak after her. She reached the summit of ‘Koh-i-Brobar’ (‘Mount Equality’) in 2011. An attempt at the seven kilometer high Spantik Peak ended in failure for Baig, due to adverse weather conditions.
Jehan Ara is a well-known name in Pakistan’s technology industry. She is the President one of the largest tech associations in the country called P@SHA. Alongside this, she is a strong supporter of startups and entrepreneurship. Her organisation is closely linked to a number of outreach programmes and initiatives with the aim to support tech-based startups.
Bilquis Bano Edhi (Hilal-e-Imtiaz) widow of Abdul Sattar Edhi, is a professional nurse and one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan. She has been named The Mother of Pakistan. She was born in 1947 in Bantva. She heads the Edhi Foundation, and with her husband received the 1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Service. In 2015, she received the Mother Teresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice. Her charity runs many services in Pakistan including a hospital and emergency service in Karachi. Together with her husband their charity has saved over 16,000 unwanted babies. Her husband, Abdul Sattar Edhi, died on 8 July 2016.
Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani activist for female education and the youngest Nobel Prize laureate. She is known for human rights advocacy, especially the education of women and children in her native Swat Valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, northwest Pakistan, where the local Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. Her advocacy has grown into an international movement, and according to former Pakistani Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, she has become “the most prominent citizen” of the country.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a Pakistani filmmaker and activist, and is the recipient of two Academy Awards, six Emmy Awards and a Lux Style Award. She was faced with several controversies but she fought like a tigress and stood strong against criticism. Sharmeen is Pakistan’s first Oscar winner.
A well-known PhD, Pakistani development economist, diplomat and intellectual who serves as the Under-Secretary General of the United Nations as the head of UNESCAP. Dr. Akhtar has previously served as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. In her capacity as Governor, She was also the Chairperson of the Central Bank Board and its affiliates, as well as a Governor of the IMF.
Muniba Mazari is a Pakistani artist, model, activist, motivational speaker, singer, social reformer and television host. She uses a wheelchair due to injuries sustained in a car accident at the age of 21 which makes her Pakistan’s first wheelchair-using model. She is also the National Ambassador for UN Women Pakistan.
Dr Nergis Mavalvala
In February, Pakistan-born astrophysicist played a part in discovery of gravitational waves. Professor Mavalvala worked with researchers at the US-based underground detectors Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory to build sophisticated sensors to detect gravitational ripples created from the collision of two black holes some 1.3 billion years ago and had been hurtling through space to reach Earth on September 14, 2015.
Namira Salim Pakistan is an explorer and artist. She is the first Pakistani to have reached the North Pole in April 2017 and the South Pole in January 2008. She is the first Asian to skydive over Mount Everest, during the First Everest Skydives 2008. Namira, the only Pakistani member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic commercial space liner, has been short-listed to travel into space.
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17 November, 2019