The quality of life that women have in Pakistan is very stratified. Empowerment and education of women is subpar at hindsight and only a limited few achieve their goals. The only way that our Millennial’s “Naya Pakistan” can become reality is by giving unprivileged women the rights they deserve. One of the biggest reasons that change is necessary is the fact that every time a woman holds her head up high, she receives threats, faces shattering remarks, and amid all these troubles, she still teaches us to stand tall. Here are 7 women who are redefining the concept of women empowerment.
1. Bilquis Bano Edhi
While every man and woman in Pakistan is familiar with the Edhi Foundation, not many may know our very own “Mother of Pakistan.” Her qualifications as a professional nurse and philanthropic actions have won the hearts of many Pakistanis. Her simplistic lifestyle and aid for Muslims and non-Muslims alike is exactly how our Quaid envisions Pakistan to be.
Bilquis Bano Edhi has saved 16,000 “discarded babies.”
2. Muniba Mazari
Muniba Mazari is a name that has taken Pakistani women aback due to her sheer dedication and commitment to living life as it was meant to be lived. At a sheer age of 21, she was in a traumatic and spinal cord damaging car accident that changed her life. Muniba is also the first ever wheelchair bound anchor at PTV and model for Toni & Guy. She is the “Iron Lady of Pakistan” and continues to inspire.
3. Dr. Ruth Pfau
Though Dr. Ruth is a questionable name to our list, her achievements of combating leprosy in Pakistan is commendable. Truly the Mother Teresa that Pakistan that never had, she dedicated 50 years of her life in Pakistan and is one of the biggest names in the international Leprosy Association.
4. Malala Yousafzai
This young girl was put in the most displaced situations one could possibly imagine. From standing up for human rights and serving women in Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and battling through an assassination attempt, Malala is the flag bearer for all feminists in Pakistan. She is also the youngest ever Nobel Prize Laureate.
5. Samina Baig
She is the first Pakistani woman to climb Mount Everest and that too at age 21! She is also the United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador for Pakistan and is a testimony to the fact that women can achieve anything if they set foot to it (Pun intended!).
6. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Sharmeen’s name has been the head of quite a few controversies, though that does not change the fact that she won the Academy Award for a documentary that targeted women empowerment in its true sense. The criticism that comes with her names suggests that women are on the right path to creating eye-opening content with though provoking content.
7. Ayesha Farooq
What speaks better of women empowerment than them flying high up in the air? By becoming the first female pilot and that too with her iconic olive colored hijab, Ayesha Farooq is truly the estrogen that was required in the testosterone-run profession. She is an icon for all Pakistani women who were taught that their career goals were determined firstly by gender.
Pakistani women proved themselves a strong force – From Fatima Jinnah to Benazir Bhutto, from Justice Nasira Iqbal to Laraib Atta, they made their mark in the history. They challenged the society norm and defined the word “women empowerment” as it was never defined before in Pakistan!