10 Pakistani women who made us proud in 2015-16

Published: August 14, 2016
The real honour!

The real honour!

Pakistani women continue to sacrifice their lives in the name of honour and the past year hasn’t been any different.

Despite all the glass ceilings, our women have proved the world wrong with their groundbreaking achievements time and again.

Going down the memory lane, we bring you ten Pakistani women who struck our patriotic chords with their numerous accolades.

1. Syeda Ghulam Fatima


In September 2015, labour rights activist Syeda Ghulam Fatima, general secretary of the Bonded Labour Liberation Front Pakistan (BLLF), was presented with the Clinton Global Citizen Award 2015 for leadership in civil society.

She works for the betterment of bonded labour in Pakistan and is known for advocating compliance of International Labour Organisation’s key labour standards in Pakistan.

2. Marium Mukhtar


Although the 24-year-old Flying Officer was martyred when her training aircraft crashed near Mianwali in November, Marium will always be remembered as the first lady pilot of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) to attain the great honour.

3. Muniba Mazari


In December, the artist-activist-writer, was named Pakistan’s first female Goodwill Ambassador by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women.

In a tweet, Mazari said, “We need to educate both men and women that if we empower one woman, we empower whole generation!”

Sharmeen Obaid’s documentary on this Pakistani Olympian is awe-inspiring

4. Samya Arif


The taxi that the Pakistani artist had designed last Independence Day for the Taxi Fabric initiative by Sanket Alvani was featured in Coldplay’s video Hymn For The Weekend in January.

Not only that, the Indus Valley School graduate designed a vinyl sleeve for Australian band Tame Impala which was showcased at Sono Studio in London.

5. Dr Nergis Mavalvala


In February, Pakistan-born astrophysicist played a part in discovery of gravitational waves.

Professor 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.

The detection confirmed a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

6. Fiza Farhan


The CEO of Buksh Foundation and director of Buksh Energy was elected as a member of the first-ever High-Level Panel of the UN Secretary-General on Women’s Economic Empowerment in February.

She was also part of the ’30 under 30’ list by Forbes magazine for Social Entrepreneurs in 2015.

UN seeks progress report on measures against honour killing

7. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy


On February 28, 2016, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy became the first Pakistani to win two Oscar awards.

Sharmeen won in the Best Documentary Short Subject for A Girl In The River: The Price of Forgiveness in the 88th Academy awards. The documentary which sheds light on honour killings in Pakistan follows the story of a teenage girl shot in the face by her own family.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif vowed to end honour killings following her win.

8. Rukhsana Parveen and Sofia Javed

Sofia Javed (L), Rukhsana Parveen (R) PHOTO: GETTY

Rukhsana and Sofia became the first Pakistani women to bag international medals in boxing at the 2016 South Asian Games in Shillong in February.

9. Minhal Sohail


The 21-year-old became Pakistan’s first female shooter to compete at Olympics 2016. Although, she couldn’t win gold and secured 28th position in the 10m air rifle event, Minhal has made us proud by qualifying for the Rio Games.

10. Ikra Saleem Khan


Ikra Saleem Khan, a student of University College Lahore, came out on top at the University of London LLB examinations, scoring the highest aggregate marks this year.

More power to them!

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Reader Comments (16)

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 14, 2016 - 12:13PM

    I am but 90% proud; with Ayyan and Reham not on that list something goes a wanting… Recommend

  • Zubair
    Aug 14, 2016 - 1:42PM

    I don’t know why they would put a designer of some fabrics in a music video amongst a group of such accomplished women. Malala should also be a part of this list, or does winning a Nobel Prize not qualify her? Where is the Pakistan women’s cricket team?

    Pakistani women are the most impressive and accomplished women on the planet, winning Nobel Prizes, Oscars changing the the way our society functions as a whole. Let’s appreciate them as a whole.Recommend

  • Naveed
    Aug 14, 2016 - 1:49PM

    What ?? NO Samina baig on the list..Recommend

  • Aug 14, 2016 - 2:12PM

    ET: it gives me immense happiness to read the article on our better halves. What would we be without them? I hate to imagine the disastrous consequences that will result.
    No offense meant, but why include Dr. Nergis Mavalvala as a Pakistani. In your hearts of hearts do you really think she would like to be called Pakistani? Forget it!!!
    The lady’s family emigrated to the US that many years ago and have not looked back. What would Pakistam have given her in terms of educational facilities and research to reach that pinnacle of recognition. ZILCH!
    It is the younger educated generation who have to become the flag bearers of a new Pakistan where they will meet resistance from the mullahs and the feudal system. Salams Recommend

  • Logitech
    Aug 14, 2016 - 2:24PM

    I want to send my rishta to Miss Ikra Saleem Khan. Someone please help me in this regard.


  • Aviator
    Aug 14, 2016 - 3:08PM

    Proud of them all!Recommend

  • BrainBro
    Aug 14, 2016 - 4:29PM

    Malala not part of the list. She is the most well known female from Pakistan, but a villain in her own country, thanks to the conspiracy theory fanatics that rule it. Recommend

  • Benjamin Franklin
    Aug 14, 2016 - 6:26PM

    I fail to understand what is so special with Mariam Mukhtar. I agree that she lost her life but then so many other Pakistanis lose their life even many without knowing why did they lose their life like the victims of Quetta blast recently. Mariam was getting training to pursue an attractive career and I am sure her dependents/family would have been rewarded very handsomely – much better than any other death of a normal Pakistani – so what this advertisement is all about?
    In the same vein, I fail to understand the logic of Nishan e Haider given to Rashid Minhas apart from that PAF must have been really unhappy with Military (Ground Forces) for squandering all the medals themselves whereas PAF’s performance was much superior to them so they got a medal after all as the first opportunity arose after the war. Agree???Recommend

  • A.Khan
    Aug 14, 2016 - 11:32PM

    Why the article starts with ‘sacrifice their lives’? I guess they are all proud and happy personals who chose their professions. Profession is something you like not something you are in trouble with.Recommend

  • Aug 14, 2016 - 11:41PM

    The Pakistani youth, are working hard to make this country reach the heights of success. Pakistanis should be proud of All these talented Pakistani WomenRecommend

  • Aug 15, 2016 - 2:32AM

    Kindly tell us why did Mariam’s parachute not open? What was wrong with the ejection seat? Has the air force held anyone responsible for the fault? To shroud Mariam Mukhtar’s death in the concept of Shahadat is a different thing, kindly tell us the real cause of her death. Make it public.Recommend

  • Atif
    Aug 15, 2016 - 3:26AM

    Which one of these would you want to date?
    The moral of the story is that successful women are often those who fail or refuse to get married. Recommend

  • Tahir leghari
    Aug 15, 2016 - 6:54AM

    It’s an appreciation for the extra ordinary people who do great things .we shall not comment negatively.Be pleasedRecommend

  • Aug 15, 2016 - 12:07PM

    @Haji Atiya: please correct me where wrong. But it seems you are infatuated by them. Heh heh heh! HappyIndependence Day. SalamsRecommend

  • Truth
    Aug 15, 2016 - 3:34PM

    That is because whenever some person who is of Pakistani heritage do something bad, even if he is foreign born, he or she will be call as a Pakistani. So why not when they accomplish something, we should call them Pakistani too.Recommend

  • Haji Atiya
    Aug 15, 2016 - 8:38PM

    Not really….just musing there. I would actually vote more for the late Qandeel Baloch than those two.Recommend

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