Pakistan is one of those countries that is not only blessed with natural resources but it has people with amazing talents as well. Slowly but steadily, gender restrictions are being removed from many fields. Here is a list of 12 Pakistani women who managed to break the stereotypes in various fields of life.
Note: This list is in no particular order.
1. Hajra Khan
Hajra Khan is the very first Pakistani footballer to be invited to play for three top European football clubs as a professional player. At a young age of 21, it is rather a huge accomplishment. Hajra says, ‘Playing in Europe has been one of those dreams that I have been aiming for since the very beginning.’
2. Hooria Asmat
When the 24-year-old Media Studies graduate became a ‘dhol player’, a male-dominated profession in our country, she managed to raised quite a few eyebrows. However, she has no regrets. She said in a statement, ‘It was my passion so I took it up as a career and became the first female of the country to do so.’
3. Malala Yousafzai
Love her or hate her, but you can’t ignore Malala and her accomplishments. Struggling against illiteracy and fighting to empower girls through education, Malala is a youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate.
It may not seem like a big thing but a woman riding a bike in a male-dominated society is no lesser feat. Tayyaba, a 26 year old from Karachi, goes to work daily on her bike and wears a helmet. ‘If a girl can drive a car, why can’t she ride a two-wheeler?” she questions. She says that people often give her thumbs up whenever they see her riding the bike.
5. Sana Mir
Sana Mir is a female Pakistani cricketer and captain of the Pakistan women’s team. During her captaincy, Pakistan has won two gold medals in Asian Games in 2010 and 2014. For the last nine years, she has been in Top 20 ICC rankings.
6. Namira Salim
Namira Salim is Pakistan’s first female astronaut to go into space and the first Pakistani ever to reach the North Pole and the South Pole! She has skydived over Mount Everest and she is the one to set up Pakistan’s first consulate in Monaco. Namira is an artist and explorer as well.
7. Ayesha Farooq
Ayesha Farooq, who hails from the city of Bahawalpur, became a female Pakistani fighter pilot in 2014. She is one of five women to become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force. Ayesha is also the first of six female fighter pilots in the force to pass the final exams to qualify for battle. She now flies to missions in a fighter jet alongside her 24 male colleagues.
8. Zahida Kazmi
Zahida Kazmi is Pakistan’s first female taxi driver. Married at the age of 13, she became a widow in her early 20s. With two sons and five daughters to raise, she decided to be a taxi driver. According to Zahida, after initial misgivings, people became more accepting of her profession.
9. Asma Shirazi
Asma Shirazi is Pakistan’s first female war correspondent and first Pakistani to win the Peter Mackler Award for Courageous and Ethical Journalism in 2014.
10. Meena Bheel
Meena Bheel has defied stereotypes held against women in more than one way! The 42-year-old Meena dresses like a man, harrows the fields, drives a truck and rides a bike. Known as Kamdar, she is in charge of one hundred acres of agricultural land and proceedings of the farmers.
11. Samina Baig
She is the first Pakistani woman and a third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest at the age of 21. Samina now plans to climb K2 this summer.
12. Humaira Bachal
Humaira Bachal has taken up the cause of educating children living in the slums of Sindh. At the age of 17, Humaira opened up the school, Dream Model Street School, in which thousands of students has enrolled. She gradually gained recognition all over the world. In 2013, she won the Youth Award and Women of Impact Award.
Which of these women inspired you the most?