We live in a society where women are looked on as discourteous and uncultured if they even try to take a step out in the professional world, going shoulder to shoulder with men. Some would give up after a few blows while others march on, slow and steady, to prove their mettle. Here are some of the women who certainly proved their worth and, apart from changing perceptions of the general public, they ultimately became a source of inspiration for many who had dreams and ambitions they would otherwise have to compromise on.
Benazir Bhutto (late) was known as the ‘Iron Lady’ of Pakistan. Being blessed with leadership attributes, and a charming personality, she was the first female prime minister of Pakistan. Her efforts for the rights of women, children and the destitute were commendable and thus, she was awarded by the United Nations Human Rights Prize in 2008. It is without a doubt that ‘BB’ is still remembered among the hearts of her true supporters even after years of her unfortunate murder incident.
Abida Parveen, also known as the ‘Sufi Malika,’ is a highly recognized singer from Sindh. Her songs are mainly the sufi kalams. The Sindhi ‘ajrak’ and a simplistic Shalwar Kameez with a coat is what you would see her in during her epic singing sessions.She has been awarded with the president’s Award for pride of Performance (1984) as well as a lifetime achievement award at the Kaladharmi Begum Akhtar Academy of Ghazal in India (2012). Despite the fact that she has been constantly receiving offers from different music industries around the globe, she has turned down all the offers in order to safely convey the Divine Message to the people.
Who would you call if, God forbids, a person in your family or a friend has some health issues? Certainly, an Edhi ambulance! Bilquis Edhi is the founder of the Bilquis Edhi Foundation alongside her husband Dr. Abdul Sattar Edhi. The couple has managed to achieve something which was even next to impossible for the government to achieve. Being named as the ‘lover of the mankind’ and ‘the mother of Pakistan’ she, together with her husband, have played an active part in rendering charity services in Pakistan. Their foundation includes morgues, orphanages, ambulances and other precious services in Karachi. The couple has received the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1986 for devoting their lives towards the humanity.
Do you remember the time when there was really less traffic on the streets, just because Haseena Moin’s Tanhaaiyan was about to air on PTV in 1985? Yes, people still do.Some of the finest works of Haseena Moin include Parchaiyan, Tanhaaiyan, DhoopKinare and Gurya (which won an international award for best script and direction). Haseena Jee has also the copyrights to Pakistan’s first original script for a private channel that was known as Kiran Kahani. Not only the locals, but her work was warmly welcomed and praised across the border as well. She has also been given tributes by the likes of the great Moin Akhtar sahib (late) and Anwar Maqsood sahib. Furthermore, she was granted by the President Award for Pride of Performance and almost every local award shows have acknowledged her services for bringing in the revolution of Pakistani dramas.
Having achieved so much at the elementary age of 9, Arfa Kareem was a computer wizard who became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in 2004. She was the torch bearer for Pakistan in many of the international forums like the TechEd Developers Conference. The chairman of Microsoft, Bill Gates himself invited her to the Microsoft headquarters in the U.S. She was also awarded by the President’s Award for Pride of Performance, along with several other awards like the Fatima Jinnah gold medal and Salaam Pakistan Youth Award. The Arfa Software Technology Park was named after herwhich is situated in Lahore, Pakistan. Unfortunately, the young soul couldn’t live long as she was suffering from cardiac arrest.
SHARMEEN OBAID CHINOY
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is the perfect example of a documentary film maker who serves the industry with his/her media texts being entertaining as well as intellectual. She is the only Pakistani woman who has received an Oscar for her documentary, ‘Saving Face,’ which speaks on the brutal acid attacks on women in Pakistan. Apart from this, she has also bagged the Emmy Award for her courageous documentary on the Talibans and their generations. She has also been awarded the American Livingston Award as well as the Hilal-e-Imtiaz.
Those people who think that women are not as physically and mentally strong as men should definitely look up to Samina Baig, who, at the age of just 23, became the first Pakistani women to climb the planet’s highest mountain peak, Mt. Everest. It is also rumored that she did not carry with herself an added oxygen tanks, but even after that, this woman is a perfect example, both symbolically and metaphorically, of setting up the highest standards of expectations from the Pakistani women. She was acknowledged for her efforts by the then President of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, as well as a documentary being to admire her endeavors.