2016 has been a crazy year and among all the madness that has prevailed in Pakistan, here today we are celebrating the women who made the nation proud. The top 10 women who destroyed all stereotypes and ruled this year are:
Nighat Dad is a lawyer and Director of Digital Rights Foundation (DRF), who was awarded the Dutch government’s 2016 Human Rights Tulip Award in November. DRF is a non-profit organization whose purpose is it educate Pakistanis on digital rights and dealing with online harassment. The social activist has recently launched Cyber harassment helpline aimed at empowering the people in the cyber world and is very easy to use. The organization also campaigns against legislation on government surveillance and dissemination of personal information of customers by telecom companies to government agencies.
Fayeeza Naqvi, the co-founder, and Chairman of Aman Foundation was awarded the first-ever Global Humanitarian Award for Women’s and Children’s Health for her contributions to Pakistan’s health and education sector. She is the first Pakistani to receive this honor.
Gulalai Ismail and Saba Ismail
Gulalai Ismail and Saba Ismail, co-founders of NGO Aware Girls, were awarded the Chirac Prize for “conflict prevention” recognizing their contribution towards the development of a Pacific and non-violent culture through the action of women and youth in Pakistan. November
Minhal Sohail is the pride of the nation as she is the first female shooter to compete at the Olympics. She secured 28th position in the 10m air rifle event held in Rio this year.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy who came to the limelight with her Academy Award documentary Saving Face has won another Oscar this year for A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. The documentary focuses on another social issue; honor killings in Pakistan.
Mona Prakash in the field of education received the Commonwealth Youth Award for Excellence, 2016. The award is presented to young people under the age of 30 years who have made a significant contribution towards social uplift. Mahtani was the only Pakistani to receive the award in 2016.
Tabassum Adnan is a Pakistani activist who received the prestigious 2016 Nelson Mandela-Graca Machel Innovation Award in April. Adnan is a founder of the Khwendo Jirga, who has also won the 2015 Secretary of State’s International Woman of Courage Award as a victim of domestic violence fighting for women’s rights.
Maryam Masood and Erum Masood
The two female pilots made history in Pakistan when the two of them piloted a Boeing-777 aircraft in August and flew it to several local and international destinations concurrently.
Sania Nashtar, a former health minister and founder of Heartfile, a health think tank, is also among six candidates nominated for the post of the World Health Organisation director-general. Nishtar is one of only two women nominated for the post. She is also co-chair of the WHO’s Commission on ending childhood obesity.
Marium Malik is a barrister who received Lincolns Inn’s Joan Denning Prize for topping the Bar Professional Training Course (BPTC) across the Commonwealth. This prestigious prize is awarded to a student who obtains an ‘outstanding’ in the exceptionally demanding BPTC.