Pakistani Women have been defying stereotypes since the beginning of time. In this blog, we will be listing down 5 of the most memorable achievements of Pakistani Women to-date.
1- Benazir Bhutto becomes the first Prime Minister of Pakistan:
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, respectfully known as BB, was the daughter of former Pakistani Prime Minister Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. Oxford and Harvard educated, she formally joined politics after the death of her father. She contested the general elections in 1988 as the leader of Pakistan People’s Party, and her political party won the single largest block of seats in the National Assembly. Later that year, she made history by becoming the first female Head of Muslim State in modern history. Benazir Bhutto not only served as an inspiration but paved way for women who aspire to join politics.
She became the Prime Minister of Pakistan for the second time in 1993, the only woman to have played the role to date. She was also the first PM in history to give birth to a child while in office. BB was a born fighter and an amazing orator, much like her father, who continues to be a hero amongst the masses even after 13 years of her death.
2- Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy wins an Oscar:
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a Pakistani filmmaker, who was born in Karachi. She later received her Bachelor’s degree from Smith College and two Master’s degrees from Stanford University. The famous Filmmaker has received various honorable recognitions including the privilege of being the first artist to co-chair the World Economic Forum in 2017. Sharmeen Obaid is the first-ever Pakistani filmmaker who won an Academy Award. She also holds the record of being the first woman to have won two Oscars by the age of 37. She brought huge honor for Pakistan when she walked up the stage of the 88th Academy Awards to receive an Oscar for her documentary: A girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness.
Sharmeen was making award-winning films on the subject of honor killing when talking about it was a taboo. She has also won 7 Emmy Awards and the second-highest civilian award of Pakistan: Hilal-e-Imtiaz. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy was only recently announced as the co-director of the upcoming Marvel movie: Ms. Marvel.
3- Malala Yousafzai becomes the youngest Nobel laureate:
Malala Yousafzai is a young Pakistani human rights activist and an advocate for girl’s education, who hails from the Swat Valley. Malala Yousafzai rose to fame with the blog that she wrote for the BBC during the turbulent 2010s while Tehreek Taliban Pakistan controlled most areas of the Swat Valley. Under the pseudonym of “Gul Makai” (cornflower), she wrote about her daily life in the blog and how The Taliban continued to hinder her education. She continued to give interviews and featured in a New York Times documentary.
On 9 October 2012, on her way home after giving an exam, she was first identified and then shot by the Taliban. However, she did not stop fighting for the basic rights of girls to get an education. Malala was presented with The Nobel Prize for Peace, for her exemplary bravery and work for girl’s education in 2014. She received the honor at the age of 17, making her the youngest Nobel Laureate to date. She continues to be a strong voice for education and is an inspiration for girls all around the globe.
4- Samina Baig becomes the first Pakistani woman to summit Mount Everest:
Hailing from Hunza, Gilgit Baltistan, Samina Khayal Baig had a fascination for mountaineering since childhood. She began training for mountaineering from the age of 15 and made the entire country proud by hoisting the Pakistani flag on Mount Everest. Samina Baig is the first and youngest Muslim woman to climb the Mount Everest, at the mere age of 21. She is also the first Pakistani woman to climb all Seven Summits. Samina became the first person ever to climb the Chashkin Sir in 2019, which was later renamed as “Samina Peak” to honor her. In 2018, she was named Pakistan’s National Goodwill Ambassador by UNDP. Samina Baig is seen as an icon all across the country for setting a precedent that girls can do everything.
5- Sana Mir becomes the World No.1 ODI Player:
Sana Mir is arguably the most famous female cricketer of Pakistan. She is known for her spin balling on the field and an exceptionally strong personality both on and off-field. She took over the captaincy of Pakistan’s national women’s team in 2009. As a captain, she led her team to two gold medals in Asian Games 2010 and 2014. She worked hard and continued to prove her balling skills throughout her career. In October 2018, she managed to become the best in the world and also the first Pakistani woman to ever become World No.1 in ICC ODI rankings. She remained in the top 20 ODI bowlers for 9 years. She is also the first Pakistani woman to have reached the 100 ODI wickets mark.
The future of Pakistani Women
Pakistani Women have been redefining history for as long as the concept of evolution has been around. After breaking all societal boundaries and stereotypes, they have been able to make their own name. We wish to see them move forward with resilience and continue making us proud with their dedication, intellect, and achievements.