Women in Limelight

Three Pakistanis make it to ‘BBC 100 Women 2021’

Conquering the world with their sheer determination, campaigns and activism, three Pakistani women have made it to BBC’s 100 Women list. The list included several women from Afghanistan among other countries in the following categories: Culture and Education, Entertainment and Sport, Politics and Activism along with Science and Health. 

Three Pakistani women on the list include Malala Yousafzai – the youngest Nobel Prize laureate with Abia Akram – a disability leader and Laila Haidari – Founder, Mother Camp. 


Malala Yousafzai:

The 24-year-old was previously named in the list well. “The youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Malala Yousafzai is a Pakistani girls’ education activist and UN messenger of peace. She has spoken up for the right of young women to education since she was 11,” the outlet shared about the activist. 

It further read, “Her activism began with blogs for the BBC about living under Taliban rule in Pakistan and the ban on girls attending school. In October 2012, a gunman boarded her bus, looking for her, and shot her in the head.” The publication then shared, “Following her recovery, she has continued her work as co-founder of the non-profit Malala Fund, aiming to build a world where every girl can learn and lead without fear.”

Malala was quoted as saying, “Hundreds of millions of girls are out of school today. I want to see a world where every girl can access 12 years of free, safe, and quality education; where all girls can learn and lead.”

Abia Akram:

An activist in the disability movement since 1997, when as a student managing her own disability, Abia Akram started the Special Talent Exchange Program (Step). “She is the first woman from Pakistan to be nominated co-ordinator for the Commonwealth Young Disabled People’s Forum. Akram is the founder of the National Forum of Women with Disabilities and has campaigned for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Inclusive Development,” BBC shared, adding, “She is also working to include disability in the UN 2030 Agenda and its sustainable development goals.”

In her own words, Abia commented, “To reset the world after the Covid-19 pandemic, we must act jointly to improve all aspects of our societies on which the ‘new normal’ will be built, and we should see far more inclusive development as a result.”

Laila Haidari:

With Kabul’s drug rehabilitation centre, Mother Camp, Laila Haidari has helped nearly 6,400 Afghans since 2010, despite taboos concerning drug users, the outlet shared. “She established the camp using her own savings and financed it by opening a restaurant, run by recovering addicts, which had to close after the fall of Kabul,” the publication said of Laila.

“Haidari’s family is originally from Bamyan but she was born a refugee in Pakistan. A former child bride, married at 12, she is a vocal advocate of women’s rights,” it further read. “She features in the acclaimed documentary Laila at the Bridge (2018), about her struggles to keep her centre open despite threats and opposition.”

Laila commented, “I hope that awareness will spread, so that we can have a more moral and humane world. We live in an interconnected world where the vote of an American citizen can fundamentally change the fate of an Afghan.”

You can view the whole list here.

Source: Tribune