Celebrating Women’s Day



Fatima Jinnah – Leader All India Muslim League Women Group

A dental-surgeon, biographer and stateswoman, she is considered one of the leading founders of Pakistan. Co-founder of Pakistan Women’s Association, which significantly played an integral role in the settlement of the migrants in the newly formed country, she also formed the Women’s Relief Committee that later formed the nucleus for the All Pakistan Women’s Association (APWA).



Begum Rana Liaqat Ali Khan – The 1st First Lady of Pakistan & Founder of APWA & PWNG

History will never forget the devotion and sacrifice of women who fought for creation of Pakistan. Born as Sheila Irene Pant, Begum Liaqat Ali was an economist and prominent stateswoman. She served as economic adviser to Jinnah’s Pakistan Movement Committee and was First Lady of Pakistan. She was also the founder of All Pakistan Women Association (APWA) and Pakistan Women National Guards (PWNG) among many other initiatives.



Tahira Qazi – Late Principal APS

Sitara-i-Shujat and Shaheed Tahira Qazi sacrificed her life while attempting to save as many children possible during Taliban attack on Army Public School Peshawar. With bravery and heroism she confronted the terrorists saying, “I am their mother. Talk to me first.” Late principal of APS Tahira Kazi stands as true example of an educationist with a mission.



Bapsi Sidhwa – Pakistan’s first English writer

Recipient of many awards and honors, including Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Bunting Fellowship from Harvard, Bapsi Sidhwa is an English novelist known for her writings about Indo-Pak partition and women empowerment. Her novels ‘The Bride’ and ‘The Crow Eaters’ the beginning of her literary fame. ‘Cracking India’ and ‘An American Brat’ are two of her latest work which received global honour.



Benazir Bhutto – First women Prime Minister from Islamic World

The first democratically elected female leader of a Muslim country, Benazir Bhutto took over as chairperson of the PPP in 1982 at the age of 29. Known for being Pro-Life, Benazir forcefully spoke against anti-childbirth policies and was most notably recognised for her speech at the International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo. She was an active and founding member of the Council of Women World Leaders.



Bilquis Edhi – Philanthropist & Founder Bilquis Edhi Foundation

Bilquis Bano Edhi, Hilal-e-Imtiaz, along with her husband Abdul Sattar Edhi, is known for ‘Making a difference and changing lives forever.’ As a nurse and philanthropist, she is globally respected for running ‘Jhoolas’ project for unwanted abandoned children.



Abida Parveen – Sufi artist

Considered one of the world’s greatest mystic singers, she is recipient of government’s Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Imtiaz. Abida Parveen embarked upon her professional career from Radio Pakistan, Hyderabad, in 1973 and since then has been known for redefining Sufi music in Pakistan while performing across the world among which some of her best loved performances were at London’s Wembley Conference Hall for BBC and Temporum concert in Amsterdam.



Jehan Ara – President Pakistan Software Houses Association for IT & ITES (P@SHA)

President of the largest private tech association in Pakistan, Jehan Ara runs a Google-funded incubation space in Pakistan. She is an outspoken advocate for cyber freedom and net neutrality. She has helped kick start several initiatives, including, the Pakistan branch of Women on the Web, Take Back the Tech, and Women’s Virtual Network that endorse women empowerment entrepreneurial.



Dr Mira Phailbus – First Ombudswoman of Pakistan & Educationist

Dr Mira Phailbus an eminent educationist has served as the Minister for Education and Minister of Minority Affairs in the Punjab government. Recognised internationally for empowering women through education, she is honored with Siatara-e-Imtiaz and is known for aggressively working for women protection at work and education institutes.



Nadia Jamil – Veteran actress, Educationist & Humanitarian

She has always picked controversial and daring roles in her TV plays and theatre to challenge the biased controversial society. She is dedicated to educate the poorest of the poor in our society, she fearlessly stands up for minorities and woman rights.



Nighat Chaudhry – Classic Dance Performer

Globally renowned and respected as Pakistan’s best known classical dance performer. With the power to enthrall audience across the globe, Nighat Chaudhry is known to have a strong presence on stage. Being deeply influenced by Rumi, she carries the message of peace through her work.



Roshaneh Zafar – Founder of Pakistan’s first Microfinance Network

Pioneer of Pakistan’s first Microfinance Network, Roshaneh Zafar set up KASHF Foundation known as Pakistan’s premier wealth management-company for the women of low income households. Under her vision, the foundation has come to be regarded as a regional role model for transparency, viability and sustainability in microfinance, setting new benchmarks and best practices for other microfinance institutes globally.



Salima Hashmi – Artist, Cultural Writer and Social Activist

Daughter of the famous Pakistan’s most renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the British-born journalist and peace activist Alys Faiz, she carries an artistic identity different from indigenous artists. Receiver of the President’s Pride of Performance, she is credited for promoting Pakistan’s art abroad and is a respected patron of young artists.



Samina Baig – First Pakistani woman and the third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest

Hailing from Shimshal village in Hunza Gojal, Gilgit–Baltistan, Pakistan, and was trained in mountaineering from the age of 15 by her brother. Being the youngest Muslim woman to climb the Everest, she is credited for setting the record of capturing the seven summits at the age of 23 years.



Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy – Film maker & Oscar winner

Known for producing documentary films on social issues that are considered taboo in Pakistan, Sharmeen took the plunge to produce films on the most crucial subjects regarding women and domestic violence. She won her first Oscar for ‘Saving Face’, a documentary film on acid-burnt victims and second for ‘A Girl in the River’ on honour killing that moved the government to implement women protection law, and law against honour killing in the nearer future.



Sabeen Mehmud – Human Rights & Social Activist

Founder and director of the Karachi-based cafe The Second Floor (T2F) and president of the Karachi branch of TiE, Sabeen Mehmud sacrificed her life fighting for social equality and public good. Her seminar titled ‘Unsilencing Balochistan’ opened a discussion others shy away from.