As the pandemic continues to ravage the world, good news also came out of it: nations led by women became the ones to fend it off the best. While that is certainly confidence boosting for women, Pakistan has its own news; this month Lt Gen Nigar Johar Khan made history by becoming the first woman to become a three-star general of Pakistan Army. She has joined a long list of Pakistani women who have made their nation, families and themselves proud and more importantly, who serve as role models and give confidence to young Pakistani women that if they aim high, the sky is the limit.
The history of our country is full of examples of women, from Fatima Jinnah to Lt Gen Nigar Johar Khan, that prove wrong the flawed and generalized perception about Pakistani society and the place of women in it: our families support us, our society lauds us when we make a mark for ourselves. Moreover, the thing to remember is that these women did not just do themselves proud but they had paved the way for women of future generations to aspire to be whoever they choose to be; the high achieving women of today (and tomorrow) have also these icons to thank for what they’ve achieved.
These forward-looking women are benchmarks and have left a legacy for future generations of women to ride on their coattails so that they could also aspire to greatness while at the same time carrying out all their obligations with aplomb.
For a Pakistani woman, there is no taller figure than Mader-i-Millat Fatima Jinnah, to inspire her to take on all the roles she has to play in society and play them all to the best of her abilities. Fatima Jinnah is a quintessential Pakistani woman; she was a sister, a career woman, a stateswoman, a philanthropist. She is the embodiment of grace, composure, sacrifice, intellect, determination, steadfastness, belief in the greater good and the initiative and drive required to accomplish it. She did not shirk away from any of the responsibilities that she had, instead she made sure that she carried them each out to perfection. She is a paragon for Pakistani girls who made sure by setting example that the girls and women of her nation could contribute fully to their country, their families and be whomever they choose to be in life. And today we can proudly say that Pakistani women since Fatima Jinnah have carried the torch, are breaking barriers and living up to their potential.
Today, when we celebrate our women, we need to also remember that an individual succeeds not only by the efforts that they put in themselves but there is a whole support system of family, friends, and the society in general, that ensures that they can attain their goals. All the iconic Pakistani women who have made their mark in the world despite the many challenges they faced, and rose to prominence had a network of support. HH
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