10 Pakistani women who made us proud in 2015-16

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By Alveena Abid

Source: The Express Tribune, ” 10 Pakistani women who made us proud in 2015-16 ”

Pakistani women continue to sacrifice their lives in the name of honour and the past year hasn’t been any different.

Despite all the glass ceilings, our women have proved the world wrong with their groundbreaking achievements time and again.

Going down the memory lane, we bring you ten Pakistani women who struck our patriotic chords with their numerous accolades.

1. Syeda Ghulam Fatima

In September 2015, labour rights activist Syeda Ghulam Fatima, general secretary of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan (BLLF), was presented with the Clinton Global Citizen Award 2015 for leadership in civil society.

She works for the betterment of bonded labour in Pakistan and is known for advocating compliance of International Labour Organisation’s key labour standards in Pakistan.

2. Marium Mukhtar

Although the 24-year-old Flying Officer was martyred when her training aircraft crashed near Mianwali in November, Marium will always be remembered as the first lady pilot of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to attain the great honour.

3. Muniba Mazari

In December, the artist-activist-writer, was named Pakistan’s first female Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

4. Samya Arif

The taxi that the Pakistani artist had designed last Independence Day for the Taxi Fabric initiative by Sanket Alvani was featured in Coldplay’s video Hymn For The Weekend in January

Not only that, the Indus Valley School graduate designed a vinyl sleeve for Australian band Tame Impala which was showcased at Sono Studio in London.

5. Dr Nergis Mavalvala

In February, Pakistan-born astrophysicist played a part in discovery of gravitational waves.

Professor Mavalvala worked with researchers at the US-based underground detectors Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) Laboratory to build sophisticated  sensors to detect gravitational ripples created from the collision of two black holes some 1.3 billion years ago and had been hurtling through space to reach Earth on September 14, 2015.

6. Fiza Farhan

The CEO of Buksh Foundation and director of Buksh Energy was elected as a member of the first-ever High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment in February.

She was also part of the ’30 under 30’ list by Forbes magazine for Social Entrepreneurs in 2015.

7. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

On February 28, 2016, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became the first Pakistani to win two Oscar awards.

Sharmeen won in the Best Documentary Short Subject for A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness in the 88th Academy awards. The documentary which sheds light on honour killings in Pakistan follows the story of a teenage girl shot in the face by her own family.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to end honour killings following her win.

8. Rukhsana Parveen and Sofia Javed

Sofia Javed (L), Rukhsana Parveen (R)

Rukhsana and Sofia became the first Pakistani women to bag international medals in boxing at the 2016 South Asian Games in Shillong in February.

9. Minhal Sohail

The 21-year-old became Pakistan’s first female shooter to compete at Olympics 2016. Although, she couldn’t win gold and secured 28th position in the 10m air rifle event, Minhal has made us proud by qualifying for the Rio Games.

10. Ikra Saleem Khan

Ikra Saleem Khan, a student of University College Lahore, came out on top at the University of London LLB examinations, scoring the highest aggregate marks this year.