WEB DESK: The Founder of our beloved nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah believed that women are to be taken side by side, appreciated as equals and treated the same.
No nation or even a household has stood tall without the women acting as the strongest pillar.
“No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you. We are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.”
― Muhammad Ali Jinnah
Since the beginning when there was no identity of our own as Pakistan, women fought, cheered, sacrificed the same as men did. If today, Pakistan stands tall, with pride, the credit goes to its women too.
Here are seven women who made Pakistan proud, in the homeland and the overseas.
1. FATIMA JINNAH
Since the beginning, Fatima Jinnah stood by his brother, M.A. Jinnah like a rock. Supporting his every decision, guiding him through the hard times, his trusted adviser and friend, Fatima Jinnah proved to be the ideal sister.
Due to her devotion to her brother and the country, she was called upon as Madr-e-Millat, (Mother of the Nation) and Khatoon- e-Pakistan, (Lady of Pakistan).
2. BENAZIR BHUTTO
“I dream of a Pakistan where women contribute to their full potential. I am conscious of their struggle that lies ahead. But with your help, we shall persevere. Allah willing, we shall succeed.”
Serving as the first female Prime Minister of Pakistan and chairperson to one of the most prominent political parties in Pakistan, Benazir Bhutto holds a class of her own. From being the most influential woman to the first Asian woman to be president of the Oxford Union, a debating society, Benazir did it all.
According to The “Times” and the “Australian Magazine” (May 4, 1996) she was one of the 100 most powerful women in the World.
Being a politician didn’t make Benazir any less affectionate towards her children. The World Population Federation awarded the ‘Best Mother Award’ to the assassinated former Pakistan Prime Minister on 10th of May 2009.
She was killed in an assassination on 27th of December 2007.
3. ARFA KARIM
“People say I am a genius. I might be one but I am not the only one. There are many other Pakistani girls and boys like me. All those gems need, is a little bit of polishing. And I will do it. That’s my aim.”
Next in the list is one of the most prominent kids who made it big in the international world. Arfa Karim was a certified Microsoft professional at the age of 9. Arfa represented Pakistan on various international forums including the TechEd Developers Conference. She also received the President’s Award for Pride of Performance.
She was invited by Bill Gates to visit Microsoft Headquarters in the United States. Arfa died in hospital at Lahore on 14 January 2012, aged 16 because of cardiac arrset. Her funeral, which was held on the following day, was attended by the Chief Minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif.
4. SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY
“Education liberates a woman”, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a journalist, filmmaker and an activist. She has won two Oscars on her two documentaries. She won Academy Awards on her documentaries, Saving Face (2012) and A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness (2015).
Her visual contributions have earned her numerous awards, including the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) (2012 and 2016), and the Emmy Award (2010 and 2011) and the One World Media Award for Broadcast Journalist of the Year (2007). Her films have been aired on PBS, CNN, the Discovery Channel, Al Jazeera English and Channel 4.
The days she won her second Oscar is the same day Pakistan’s bill has passed against the violence on women. She was also awarded Tmagha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.
5. MALALA YOUSUFZAI
“I don’t want to be remembered as the girl who was shot. I want to be remembered as the girl who stood up.” – Malala Yousafzai
Malala Yousufzai is an activist for female education and is known for human rights activist for education and women in her hometown Swat. She is the youngest Nobel Prize winner. Yousafzai’s advocacy has since grown into an international movement.
In 2012, she was shot at on her way back from school by asking her name due to which she was unconscious for three days and was then taken abroad to a hospital for better care.
The 2013, 2014 and 2015 issues of Time magazine featured Yousafzai as one of “The 100 Most Influential People in the World”. She was the winner of Pakistan’s first National Youth Peace Prize, and the recipient of the 2013 Sakharov Prize.
In July that year, she spoke at the headquarters of the United Nations to call for worldwide access to education, and in October the Government of Canada announced its intention that its parliament confers Honorary Canadian citizenship upon Yousafzai. In February 2014, she was nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden.[ Even though she was fighting for women’s rights as well as children’s rights, she did not describe herself as feminist when asked on Forbes Under 30 Summit in 2014.
“We women are going to bring change. We are speaking up for girls’ rights, but we must not behave like men, like they have done in the past.” -Malala Yousafzai
6. SAMINA BAIG
“I want to tell women in developing countries that they are as powerful as their male counterparts, and they can play an equal role in their respective societies.”
Samina Khayal Baig is the first Pakistani woman and the third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest. She is also the youngest Muslim woman to climb Everest, having done so at the age of 21. Samina is also the first Pakistani woman and the first Muslim to climb the seven summits.
She 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.
7. MARIUM MUKHTAR
Mariam Mukhtiar was a Pakistani fighter pilot. She was Pakistan’s first female fighter pilot to die in the line of duty. She died after a Pakistan Air Force (PAF) FT-7PG aircraft crashed near Kundian in Mianwali District in the northwest of Punjab, Pakistan on November 24, 2015.
Mukhtiar graduated as a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force in 2007, along with six other women. This group of seven was the first women to complete the fighter pilot training in Pakistan.
On Tuesday 24 November 2015, Mariam Mukhtiar Shaikh and her co-pilot Squadron leader Saqib Abbasi were on their routine operational training mission when their plane crashed near Kundian, Punjab. Both occupants ejected from the cockpit and the plane crash-landed. Abbasi suffered minor injuries in the accident, however Mukhtar died of her injuries in a military hospital.
She is buried in Malir Cantonment Graveyard.
8. MUNIBA MAZARI
In 2007, Muniba met with an accident when she was en route to her hometown, Rahim Yar Khan, her car fell into the ditch that accident made her paraplegic for the entire life.
She is the first wheelchair-bound model for the prestigious Toni&Guy in Pakistan and the brand ambassador for The Body Shop in Pakistan, and one of the Ponds Miracle Women. She also working as brand ambassador for “chughtai lab.”