When Quaid-i-Azam said, “No nation can ever be worthy of its existence that cannot take its women along with the men,” he had envisioned Pakistan as a country where all the citizens, irrespective of gender, would have the opportunity and the environment to grow and progress while at the same time contributing to its advancement. Today, we can be proud of the fact that Pakistan is well on the way to becoming the progressive and dynamic nation that it was meant to be. Pakistan can boast of its women actively participating in almost all spheres of life, side by side with men; they are not only making a mark for themselves nationally but they are making us all proud internationally as well.
Quaid-i-Azam deemed women to have a power that is stronger than the pen and the sword. This is true because in addition to the value they bring to life in their various roles, women are not only the keepers but also the shapers of the values of a society. Today’s Pakistani women are doing exactly that by not only playing their traditional role of being the fulcrum of their families but are also taking on the additional responsibility of making their country great. This dynamism of juggling both roles is what motivates their families to support them and encourage them to pursue their dreams. The modern Pakistani female has demonstrated that one need not choose between career and home; both can be handled simultaneously with efficiency and grace. They have also proved that making sacrifices for the country is not only restricted to men but is something that women are also equally capable of; not only have they shown this when they support their men in doing their duty but they do it themselves too.
A shining example of this are the female Pakistani peacekeepers who travel thousands of miles away from home, away from their families, serving humanity by helping in bringing peace to the world, and making their country proud. Pakistani peacekeepers are serving alongside their male colleagues in conflict zones of Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan and Cyprus, providing medical outreach, community engagement vocational training and rendering their services for conflict resolution. Their efforts have been recognized and lauded internationally. The Secretary General of the United Nations, António Guterres extolled our female peacekeepers for their services on his visit to Pakistan in February of this year. United States Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Alice G. Wells also finds our female heroes inspiring according to a tweet on her behalf by the State Department’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. These brave women are debunking myths and misconceptions about their country and showing to the world that Pakistan is a forward-looking country where there are no obstacles in the mobility of women, who are free to pursue their lives in accordance with their wishes.
During the Independence Movement, women, in particular, though small in number, played a big role that was not only vital but also progressive and ahead of its time. This legacy is being carried forward and improved upon by the women of today who are the torchbearers, working towards Jinnah’s Pakistan where women are supposed to work side by side with men. We are proud of the work our women are doing – whether it is that of housewives or in a professional capacity. Pakistan is a country that inspirits its women to realize their inherent potential, and provides multiple platforms for women to grow and excel in all fields, may it be academics, politics, diplomacy, civil service, science, or active field duty in conflict zones in any part of the world. HH
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