In our latest March #WomenCare issue, we featured 12 motivational women who can spur you to action and ready to take on the world!
This selection is neither definitive or final, just of women who have won at whatever they chose to do — in their own field, time and environment to make a difference.
The woman who has been the force behind Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP); Ronak Lakhani is a philanthropist who has done countless works for the differently-abled community. The government has even honoured Ronak with Sitara-e- Imtiaz, the third highest honour and civilian award given to any civilian in Pakistan. She has transformed the lives of those with intellectual disabilities by bringing them and the mainstream society all together through inclusion and sports making them feel any less than different.
Nigar Nazar is the first professional female cartoonist in the Muslim world and is the Chief Executive of Gogi Studios in Pakistan. She has authored several children’s and young adult’s books and comics. Her best work to date includes the famous character ‘Gogi’ which she created to promote education and social advocacy programs. She was nominated by BBC for ‘100 Global women who have made a difference in 2014.’
This young lady has become a brave inspiration worldwide after being targeted and shot by the Taliban in Pakistan in 2012 after returning home from school along with her two friends. The trauma and pain she had endured did not stop Malala from going back and completing her education; instead she is now a vocal campaigner and one of the most prominent advocates for female education in the world today. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014 at the age of 17 making her the youngest Nobel Prize laureate.
HINA RABBANI KHAR
She is a Pakistani politician who served as the 21st Foreign Minister of Pakistan from February 2011 until March 2013. Appointed at age 33, she was the youngest person and the first woman to have held this position. In 2009, after switching parties and winning re-election with the Pakistan Peoples Party, she became the Minister of State for Finance and Economic Affairs and the same year became the first woman to present the national budget. She has continued to push for stronger ties with India. As of 2019, she is a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan on a reserved seat for women.
Known for her impeccable and outstanding work, Ayesha Chundrigar has been rescuing animals from the age of five! In 2013, she established Ayesha Chundrigar Foundation (ACF) in Karachi at the age of 25 after returning back home from the UK where she was working as a journalist and producer. She does whatever it takes to save these animals who have been abused or left dying on the streets, giving them a chance to live a better quality of life.
Rabia Ashiq is a track and field athlete. She was awarded a wildcard for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London where she represented Pakistan and competed in the 800 metres and finished sixth in the fourth heat of round one.
Samina Baig is a Pakistani high-altitude mountaineer. In 2013 she bravely climbed Mount Everest and all Seven Summits by 2014 which made her the first and only Pakistani woman to do so. She is also the youngest Muslim woman to climb Mount Everest 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’ in her honour.
Roshaneh Zafar founded the Kashf Foundation in 1996, and is the managing director. Kashf Foundation provides microfinance, job opportunities and training for women and supports over 500,000 women and families in Pakistan. Roshaneh Zafar has been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, one of Pakistan’s highest civilian awards, by the President of Pakistan for her work in the field of development and women’s empowerment.
Zenith Irfan is the first female motorcyclist to ride across Pakistan. She has been fulfilling her father’s dream after his unfortunate death at a young age of 34. In August 2015, she biked 3,200 kilometers from Lahore through North Pakistan up to the Khunjerab Pass which borders China. She is thought to be the first female motorcyclist to travel across Pakistan. She has taken two trips since then, riding into Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit Baltistan, completing 20,000 kilometers on her motorcycle. Cheers to women power!
Flight Lieutenant Ayesha Farooq is the first Pakistani female fighter pilot who hails from Hasilpur, Bahawalpur District. She flies missions in a Chinese-made Chengdu J-7 fighter jet alongside her 24 male colleagues in Squadron 20! How awesome is that? Ayesha is a courageous and brave young woman who has made Pakistan proud and is also a huge inspiration for young girls.
Born in Bahrain to a Pakistani mother and a British father, Lianna takes full pride of her Pakistani heritage. She is a swimmer who holds seven Pakistani national records. She specializes in breaststroke. In 2014, she represented Pakistan at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, UK after bagging 9 gold and 3 silver medals during the National Championships held in June 2014; 2016 South Asian Games in Guwahati, India; and also at the Rio Olympics 2016 in Women’s 50m freestyle. Saba Gul quit her engineering job in the US to become an entrepreneur in Pakistan. She launched her brand in 2013 that focus on all things ethical. It is a non-profit that helps women from rural areas of Pakistan earn fair wage employment by creating hand-made and ethical products. Saba Gul is very hands on when it comes to social welfare and has made a hume impact on the rural community.