The newly elected cabinet of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif that was sworn in on Tuesday contains 34 members from the allied political parties, five of which are distinguished female politicians.
PPP’s Sherry Rehman has taken the oath as Pakistan’s minister for climate change, while Hina Rabbani Khar was appointed as the state minister of foreign affairs. PPP’s Shazia Atta Marri has taken over as the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) minister.
PML-N’s Marriyum Aurangzeb is the new federal minister for information and lastly, Aisha Ghaus Pasha is the state minister for finance.
Here’s a quick glance at these five women in key positions in the new cabinet.
Pakistan’s first woman senate opposition leader, former Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States and former federal minister for Information and Broadcasting, Sherry Rehman has been entrusted with the ministry of climate change by the new government.
According to the Senate website, Rehman has a long list of achievements to her name. She’s an award-winning journalist with 20 years of experience in both broadcast and print media. Rehman served as the editor of Herald magazine, and was the first Pakistani media person to be recognised by the UK House of Lords for independent journalism at the Annual British Muslim Ceremony in 2002.
She’s also made history as the federal minister of the PPP led government in 2008, when she delivered Pakistan’s first comprehensive briefing on National Security to an in-camera joint sitting of Pakistan’s Parliament. She also made sure that the first-ever official consensus by public representatives on terrorism, Joint Resolution on Terrorism, was adopted.
Dubbed the “Democracy Hero” in 2009 by the International Republican Institute, Rehman is the architect of multiple bills for women empowerment. She moved the Hudood Ordinance Repeal Bill, anti-honour killings bills, along with the Freedom of Information Act 2004.
The new federal minister for Climate Change is the recipient of the state’s highest civil award, Nishat-i-Imtiaz.
Previously the spokesperson of the PML-N, Marriyum Aurangzeb has been sworn in as the Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting in the new cabinet.
Aurangzeb who was the head of corporate relations at WWF Pakistan, joined politics in 2013 when she was elected to the National Assembly as a candidate of PML-N on the reserved women seats in the 2013 general election.
A postgraduate in development and environmental policy, with expertise in strategic thinking and planning, the politician has previously worked closely with PML-N’s Maryam Nawaz on the education sector.
This isn’t her first time becoming the minister of State for Information and Broadcasting. She has previously occupied the office in 2016 as part of PM Nawaz Sharif’s cabinet.
Hina Rabbani Khar
Belonging to PPP, Hina Rabbani Khar has previously served as foreign minister from February 2011 to March 2013. Taking the role at only 34, she was the youngest and the first female foreign minister of Pakistan.
Before entering politics, Khar completed her education in the US, and in 2002 became a member of the NA representing PML-Q. She switched parties in 2009, joining PPP after which she became the minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs. PM Yousaf Raza Gillani 2011, appointed her as the Foreign Minister of Pakistan. During her last stint in office, she continued to push for stronger ties with India.
After her induction to the post of State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Khar has stressed the need for sincere efforts to address diplomatic challenges.
Shazia Atta Marri
Sworn in as the minister for Benazir Income Support Programme, Shazia Marri entered politics as a member of the Sindh assembly during the 2002 general elections.
Her political roots go back to pre-partition India, as her grandfather Ali Muhammad was a member of the legislative assembly during the British government from 1944 to 1945.
Marri has previously served as the Sindh minister for Electric Power from 2008 to 2010, after which she was elected to the NA on PPP’s reserved seats for women for the years 2013 and 2018.
Aisha Ghaus Pasha
Politician and economist, Aisha Ghaus Pasha has been appointed as the state minister for finance in the new cabinet. She has been a member of the NA since 2018 and was elected to the Punjab Assembly as a candidate on a PML-N reserved seat for women in June 2013.
The minister is married to Hafeez Pasha, an economist and former advisor to the Federal Government.