Five Pakistanis listed in BBC'S 100 Women

Published: October 28, 2014

Conquering the world with their documentaries, campaigns and cartoons, five Pakistani women have made it to BBC’s 100 Women list.

Among BBC’s 100 women are documentary film-maker and Oscar award winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Internet rights activist Sana Saleem, filmmaker and campaigner Sarah Khan, cartoonist Nigar Nazar and Saadia Zahidi.

Nigar Nazar


The first Pakistani female cartoonist, Nigar Nazar is Gogi Studios’ mastermind and lead cartoonist. A subtle, bilingual (available in English and Urdu) commentary on local gender issues, these comics are an important part of an emotive venture. From raising awareness to childhood development to a life of poverty to education and environmental degradation, Gogi covers a gamut of our society’s positives and pitfalls.

Sana Saleem


Internet rights activist, Sana Saleem is the director of the Bolo Bhi non-profit group that advocates free speech.

She is also the co-founder of Stories Beyond Borders, a crowd-sourced storytelling platform connecting personal stories for advocacy and policy change.

Sarah Jehaan Khan


Sarah Jehaan Khan is a 16-year-old film-maker and an environmental campaigner who uses film to raise awareness about solutions to issues affecting women and girls.

She has been advocating for environmental friendly solutions on national and international platforms and Pakistan’s print and electronic media have featured her as a young achiever.

Her film Harvesting Hope won second prize at a film festival held in Harvard University at the ‘Girl’s Impact the World Film Festival’. The film is about the health complications women cotton pickers face due to excessive use of chemical pesticides, and the importance of organic farming.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy


Lauded as Pakistan’s first Oscar winner, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz for her documentary Saving Face.

Empowering women and bringing their plight to the forefront through her documentaries, Obaid-Chinoy won as Academy Award winning film for her short documentary titled Humaira: The Dream Catcher.

Two-time Emmy winner, the film-maker received two Emmy Awards for the Best Documentary and Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form categories in 2013 and also the accolade in the Current Affairs category for her documentary Children of the Taliban in 2010.

Saadia Zahidi


Saadia Zahidi is a senior director at the World Economic Forum. Zahidi is also the founder and author of Global Gender Gap & Human Capital Reports. She has been working with businesses and governments to change gender gaps.

Correction: An earlier version of the story carried the wrong picture of one of the women on the list, Sarah Khan. The error has been fixed and is regretted. 

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Reader Comments (11)

  • zain
    Oct 28, 2014 - 10:02PM

    i never heard any of these names apart from sharmeen
    and yes i daily read newspaper


  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Oct 28, 2014 - 10:51PM

    Because West knows us more than we know ourselves. The problem is not that we have very little information, the real problem is that its our belief that what we don’t know it doesn’t exist.


  • mehreen
    Oct 28, 2014 - 11:14PM

    Sorry tribune your research is not through. Ayesha mustafa from Pakistan is on the list as well. She is an entrepreneur and ceo of fashion compassion a brand socially responsible helping Empower women.


  • Adnan
    Oct 29, 2014 - 2:02AM

    As per Pakistani logic, these women should be called as Traitors as they did to Malala or Dr Abdul Salam Khan.


  • Fact is Fact
    Oct 29, 2014 - 7:00AM

    @mehreen: I am not sure the women (or any other achiever in that case) can be called Pakistani once they have denounced their nationality. Ayesha Mustafa, if i know, is not Pakistani and so as Sarah Khan and therefore should not be included as Pakistanis in the list. By then India would take credit of half of the women in the list. I would say 4 Pakistani women on the list and its a proud thing considering the fact that Pak is ranked 141 out of 142 n the list of gender inequality. Ironic


  • Anonymous
    Oct 29, 2014 - 7:56AM

    The Sarah Khan on this list is a sixteen year old girl, not the person you have mentioned.


  • Sana Ahmad
    Oct 29, 2014 - 4:30PM

    It is not surprising that Express Tribune does not bother to do research. Lack of research leads to misreporting and spreading of incorrect information.
    Sarah Khan is a 16 year old student from Pakistan and not the one you have displayed in the article. In fact she is one of the youngest women achievers on the list. Shame indeed for spreading confusion.


  • anon
    Oct 29, 2014 - 6:26PM

    They’ve fixed it, disregard my previous comment


  • Hamza Qaiser
    Oct 31, 2014 - 12:05AM

    Obaid-Chinoy won AS Academy Award winning film for her short documentary…

    Two-time Emmy winner, the film-maker received two Emmy Awards for…

    Seriously, who wrote this piece?

    If ET is out of proofreaders, I humbly offer to rewrite this article for free.


  • Nov 7, 2014 - 2:03AM

    I am glad you fixed the Sarah Khan error, but you also forgot to include myself; I am a British woman of Pakistani origin who is on the list. Thank you.Recommend

  • KS
    Mar 9, 2015 - 9:25AM

    Guys someone who has a british nationally is technically not Pakistani. You need to be a citizen of Pakistan to be called a Pakistani. Recommend

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