International Women’s Day (March 8) is an important day to celebrate women’s social, economic, cultural & political achievements. Today we will celebrate the achievements of some Pakistani female trailblazers who have made Pakistan proud.
1- Arfa Karim Randhawa
Everyone knows and remembers Arfa Karim Randhawa. The girl who surprised the world when she became the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in 2004 at the age of nine.
The girl who was the youngest recipient of President’s Award for Pride of Performance and numerous awards and recognition both in Pakistan and abroad.
And the girl who had a bright future but left us too soon at the age of 16, on 14 January 2012, when she suffered a cardiac arrest after an epileptic seizure that damaged her brain.
Arfa Karim was a star that shinned brightly for a very short while but whose light is still laminating and inspiring many.
2- Ayesha Farooq
Twenty-eight-year-old Ayesha Farooq is Pakistan’s, and South Asia’s, first female war-ready fighter pilot. Hailing from Bahawalpur, Ayesha flies Chinese F-7PG combat planes for the Pakistan Air Force.
Undergoing tough theory, physical and practical training, Ayesha proved that there are no limits to what women can do. Her advice to young girls and women is that “instead of looking up to role models become one yourself.”
3- Nergis Mavalvala
One of the most recent Pakistani women to hit the international news headlines has been Karachi-born quantum astrophysicist Nergis Mavalvala, Associate Department Head of Physics at MIT, and a member of the team of scientists that announced the scientific milestone of detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time hypothesised by physicist Albert Einstein a century ago.
Dr 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.
4- Muniba Mazari
Muniba Mazari is an artist, writer, motivational speaker, activist, TV anchor — and she is also wheelchair-bound.
A car accident in 2007, when she was only 21, injured her spinal cord but not her spirit. She had been studying Fine Arts at the time and has continued to pursue art and has established her brand, known as Muniba’s Canvas.
Muniba has proved strength is in the spirit and limitations are only those that you put on yourself.