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Top Ten Inspiring And Influential Women of Pakistan

History of Women Empowerment in Pakistan – easier said than done

Today on Sales Professionals Forum we write about The Top 10 Most Inspiring And Influential Women Of Pakistan in their fields but it is very unfair if we do not leverage Pakistani women who were oppressed or pushed back by the society and their own family members in their lives.

In the contemporary world especially in Pakistan, public and private sectors are recruiting women ranging from MNCs to Banking, Civil Services to Armed Forces, retail industries to corporations.

Many female entrepreneurs moving freely without depending on their male counterparts anymore, it is easier said than done.

Pursuing women’s rights in a religious or secular way is still debatable in our societies but it was started and began to progress in 1980 in General Zia’s time.

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‘Our beloved country Pakistan was leading the Muslim world when it came to women’s participation in elections and the parliament., resident director, Aurat Foundation Ms. Mehnaz Rehman said.’

Women working from home (HBW)

Home Based Workers are the women, engaged in the informal sector of the economy. Estimated more than twenty-million home-based workers out of which 60% are women.

In 2016, a United Nations Women Status report on Women’s Economic Participation and Empowerment in Pakistan said, women account for more than sixty-five percent –equals to US$ 2.8 billion (500 billion rupees) that Home Based Workers –contribute to the economy of Pakistan.

Recently launched through social media with a video that features Pakistani women of strength from multiple walks of life, the campaign challenges their counterparts to beat them at their respective expertise and at the amazing things women have achieved, globally.

“Women now make up more than 5% of board members of Pakistani Companies”.

Under Section 206 of Elections Act 2017, political parties are required to issue at least 5pc of the general tickets to women.

Things started changing in the year 2018 when Pakistan saw a dramatic increase of 3.8 million female voters in the General Elections of 2018 as the law requires at least 10 percent female voter turnout –an increase in 66% from 2013 General Elections won by PML-N –to legitimize each district’s result.

The women’s rights and codes and all sections are written in the law book for their protection. More than 50% of Pakistan’s population is female, but a little more than half the population gets equal rights like the male population of the country.

The heart of feminism is the equality between women and men

“Feminist movements are rising again in Pakistan. Women who advocate for equality between men and women, negotiate for their rights and redefining their roles pushed back from their immediate families, the state, the clerics and most pity other women.”

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Women are not just mothers, sisters, daughters, or wives only, they are nature’s bountiful entity who can bear enormous pressure and still remain graceful and maintains balance in life and work.

Read Also: Top 10 Corporate Trainers Of Pakistan 2020.

Rukhshanda Naz

Rukhshanda Naz is a secular and progressive woman in Pakistan. Naz was the youngest daughter of her father’s twelve children. Her family members objected when she wanted to go to law school. Naz got her law degree and became a human rights lawyer. She opened a women’s shelter in the Province of KPK. Naz is the resident director of the Aurat Foundation. AF is one of Pakistan’s leading organizations for women’s rights. Naz is also the UN Women head for the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and FATA.

It is discovered that the number of drinking water projects in areas with female-led councils was 62 percent higher than in those with male-led councils.

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Sharmeen was born in Karachi. Sharmeen is a Grammarian and went to the US for higher education where she completed her Bachelor’s in Economics and Government from Smith College. Sharmeen also received two Master’s degrees from Stanford University in Communication and International Policy Studies. 

While Sharmeen was studying in the USA, she develops a passion for film-making. Sharmeen is the only Pakistani man or woman who won the highly prestigious ‘Oscar Award’ in Film making for two times. Sharmeen has long been a supporter of women empowerment and her powerful films have done much to counter-cultural and social taboos that mostly incriminate women in Pakistan. 

“I am a woman. I am successful and I am not afraid to speak my mind”Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Ms. Farhat Hashmi

Farhat is a Pakistani Canadian Islamic Scholar born on 22nd December 1957 in Sargodha, Punjab. Farhat is famous for her nontraditional style of teaching and original lectures –which focus on feminism –and TV preaching around the countries where her channel airs. 

Farhat is the founder of the ‘Al-Huda Institute’ –a Salafist organization that runs chains of religious schools in Pakistan and Canada. Farhat holds a Ph.D. degree in Islamic Studies from Scotland’s Glasgow University and formerly a lecturer in International Islamic University, Islamabad.

Through the Al-Huda Foundation, Farhat helped women by teaching the Quran and Hadith (Prophet Sayings) to become better observant Muslims.

Farhat also completed her MA in the Arabic Language from Punjab University. 

Farhat was the Women icon of Pakistan in 2015.

Farhat won International Dawah Award in 2016 in Dubai.

Farhat’s name was included in ‘TheMuslim500.com”.

Momina Mustehsan

The reincarnation of 80s most gorgeous singer Nazia Hasan

Momina Mustehsan was born to a Muslim family on September 5th, 1992 in Lahore. Momina is a very successful and highest-paid Pakistani vocalist and lyricist.

Momina’s mother Huma Mustehsan is a doctor and her father Kazim Mustehsan is a ‘Sitara-e-Imtiaz’ Retd Brigadier in Pakistan Army.

Momina Mustehsan did A ‘Levels from LGS –Lahore Grammar School –and later shifted to the United States for further studies and graduated with a double major’s degree in Biomedical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the Stony Brook University in 2016.

Momina is an engineer by occupation and a gifted Singer.

In 2011 she recorded a song called ‘Meray Bina’ from an Indian motion picture called ‘Crook’. 

Momina composed a melody with record producer Saad Sultan called ‘Pi Jaun’ and that is the thing that got a great deal of consideration in the whole music world.

Ayesha Farooq

Pakistan’s first woman Fighter Pilot Flight Lieutenant Ayesha Farooq was born on August 24th, 1987 in Bahawalpur, Punjab. Ayesha achieved the title of South Asia’s first female war-ready fighter pilot as well. Ayesha’s first flight was in 2013 and she flies Soviet’s licensed MiG-21 (discontinued in 2013) Chinese Chengdu J-7 fighter jet in Squadron 20, Pakistan Air Force.

Ayesha has always been the bread-earner of her family after her father passed away who was a doctor when she was just 3 years old. 

I was always the man of my family’, Ayesha said. ‘It is not a job that people associate with women, I am changing the thoughts of people and doing a job as well and it’s a big responsibility’, she added.

“Instead of looking up to role models, become one yourself,” Ayesha’s advice for young girls and women.

Muniba Mazari

– the iron lady of Pakistan

A Baloch lady from Pakistan also called the iron lady was born on March 3rd, 1987 in the district of Rahim Yar Khan. Muniba is a very influential lady in Pakistan. She is a motivational speaker, an activist, an artist, and a role model for all the women of Pakistan and the entire Muslim world.

Muniba was also made the National Ambassador for United Nations after being shortlisted in the world’s 100 Inspirational women in 2015. She made the whole nation proud.

Muniba also made it to the Forbes 30 under 30 lists for 2016.

Muniba was chosen by Unilever’s most famous brand Ponds as the ‘Pond’s Miracle Woman’.

Muniba was chosen by a very famous hairdressing salon ‘Toni & Guy’ as a model. The campaign was called ‘Women of substance’.

Muniba was part of ‘Dil Say Pakistan’s campaign. The campaign spread the feeling of patriotism and unity in Pakistan where she performed as a singer. 

In 2019, Muniba was appointed by Prime Minister Imran Khan for the ‘National Youth Council’.

The most horrific thing in her life was an accident she met in 2008 was discussed on different forums many times. But in our blog, we do not find words to describe how we thank this lady for showing the path to success to the oppressed women of Pakistan especially our daughters and sisters and mothers living a life of distress and misery. She proved that Angels can fly back to the earth to enlighten the path for the people living in a shadow of mere disappointment.

Sultana Siddiqui – The President ‘HUM Network Limited’

Sultana Siddiqui was born in Hyderabad into a Siddiqui family, 7th of the 10 children. Sultana started working with PTV in 1974 as a lead role in drama serials. 

Being camera shy, Sultana continued to present a program on social issues for National Television. Sultana was put through months and months of comprehensive training, after which Sultana was selected as a producer. As soon as her children were older, Sultana produced ‘Marvi’, a big hit, and won her another award.

“It’s a man’s world, women have to work doubly hard to move forward”, says Sultana Siddiqui.

Sultana sets up her own production company in 1996 ‘Momal Productions’.  

In 2005, Sultana launched Hum TV and in 2006, she went ahead and launched the first and only 24-hour culinary TV channel ‘Hum Masala’.

An International streaming giant ‘Netflix’ picked up HUM TV drama serials.

Sultana won ‘The Hazrat Khadijat ul Kubra Award from Federation of Business and Professional Women.

Sultana won the ‘Nigar’ Award the most prestigious Film and Media Awards in Pakistan.

Sultana won The Pride of Performance Award from the Government of Pakistan.

MARIA B. – The Coco Chanel of Pakistan

Maria Butt, the owner of famous and one of the most expensive fashion clothing MARIA B. was born on 18th September 1983. She is from Kashmir and born and raised there and then moved to Quetta before moving to Karachi. Maria graduated from PSFD (a famous fashion designing institute named Pakistan School of Fashion Designing). She started with just one retail outlet with one small stitching unit in 1999.  Maria owns several boutiques in the posh areas of Pakistan and also made a big name in Europe too. Maria’s fashion brands deal with prêt a porter, couture, Lawn, Linen, Embroidered fabrics, luxurious bridal wear, formal and cotton wear. Maria B.’s Mkids is designed for ages 2-14.   

Being a Pakistani we always promote our local talent and try our level best to portray a positive image of our people.

Interested in upgrading your wardrobe, contact Mara B. at 00-92-42-3571 6700, 0092-332-4122 262)

Nasreen Mehmud Kasuri

Nasreen Kasuri received the Woman Power 100 award in London. Pakistan Power 100 is an event that honors the achievement and contribution of influential men and women from within the international Pakistani community. 

BH – Beachonhouse School System is a private limited company that started as ‘Les Anges Montessori’ with the Blessings of a Parsi mentor –assisted by two other Montessori directresses –in 1975, Lahore. 

With the presence of the Beaconhouse School System in more than 9 countries, Nasreen Kasuri became one of the richest and most influential women in Pakistan.

Besides its home based in Pakistan, the Beaconhouse group is the largest privately owned Pakistani education system has worked itself into the regional landscape from the Far East to the Middle East and Europe.

Ms. Kasuri –the wife of most prominent Minister in General Musharraf regime –received ‘Sitara-e-Eisaar’ from the Government of Pakistan in 2006.

NABILA MAQSOOD – NABILA’S

There is too much to talk about NABILA, but we try to squeeze as much as we can…

Nabila Maqsood was a pro-hair-cutter at the mere age of 11. She was a rebel child, if someone complimented her hair, she cuts it. Nabila Maqsood was a believer that ‘Age is just a number’.

Nabila once said: ‘When my mother comes to my house she feels ‘it’s a house of deaf people because no one really talks a lot. According to Nabila, ‘silence is the most important sound if we don’t shut our mouths how will we have any original thoughts’…

Sharing how she let go of the inferiority complex that plagues Pakistanis when she traveled to Los Angeles, her brother advised her, ‘Don’t fear the Gora’…

Want to know the secret of Nabila’s huge success, she advises, ‘Invest in your skill-set, your knowledge base, works on your product’s research and development, spends time in the lab. There is no need to fear anyone, geography doesn’t figure in my thoughts’…

“I take my own ‘Jharoo’ to class, clean my own color bowls, and make coffee for my clients”… Nabila said.

Nabila emphasizes on going abroad twice a year for training… she adds that she takes her “gift” very seriously and always ready to take new challenges.

Nabila established the first spa in Lahore.

Nabila established a modeling and PR agency ‘ZINC’, where she provided celebrities makes over from Wasim Akram to Ali Zafar…

Nabila signed on as the creative consultant for L’Oreal Professional and L’Oreal Paris.

Final words from Nabila, “I think that looking good is directly linked to feeling good and having high self-esteem”.

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Sohail Yousuf

Sohail Yousuf is a content writer at SPF. He is a Master's in International Relations and loves to write.

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