Reaching new heights

Samina Baig proved that women of Pakistan are reaching new heights, both literally and metaphorically, every day.


Editorial May 20, 2013
Samina has proved that Pakistani women can do as much, if not more, than their male counterparts in every field. PHOTO: theyouthrepublic.com

Pakistani women continue to make their mark despite the lack of gender equality in the country. On May 18, 21-year-old Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to set foot on the summit of Mount Everest in Nepal. Ms Baig achieved a historic milestone that only a few Pakistani men have so far achieved. The news of Ms Baig climbing to the top of Mount Everest has made us Pakistanis, who are now used to a depressing news cycle, feel jubilant and proud. The women of Pakistan are reaching new heights, both literally and metaphorically, every day.

Pakistan is still a male-dominated society and generally has a poor record when it comes to women’s rights but despite these hurdles, women in Pakistan have long fought for the inclusion of their rights in all facets of society. Benazir Bhutto became the first woman prime minister of a Muslim country, Fehmida Mirza was the first woman speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, we have had a female governor of the State Bank of Pakistan and many women are becoming pilots and moving forward. Ours is a patriarchal society where customs like vani and swara (exchange of women, mostly young girls, to settle feuds) and karo kari (honour killings) are considered a norm, where the perpetrators of gang rape of women and children are allowed to roam freely, where the police refuse to file an FIR against domestic violence, where discriminatory laws are presented in the garb of religion, where acid is thrown on women to settle scores, where the self-appointed guardians of religion disallow women to go to schools and where women are not allowed to exercise their right to cast votes in the general elections in some places. Despite these setbacks, Benazir Bhutto and Malala Yousufzai became global icons. Ms Baig is another icon for the women of Pakistan. She has proved that Pakistani women can do as much, if not more, than their male counterparts in every field. Here is to the brave women of Pakistan, who may have a long way to go but who have proved that nothing is impossible.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2013.

COMMENTS (6)

Kate Smith | 8 years ago | Reply

Congratulations to Ms Baig on her tremendous success on climbing Mt Everest Cheers Kate

M Bilal Afzal | 8 years ago | Reply

Please dont call isolated incidents of vani and sawara as "norm" in Pakistan and Stop projecting Pakistan in Dark shades. Congratulations and Kudos to Ms Samina. Keep on proving that Pakistan is a country of proud and confident women like you.

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