THE HUM ROUNDTABLE

WOMEN AS AGENTS OF SOCIAL CHANGE

TOPIC: WOMEN ON THE FRONTLINES OF A TRANSFORMING WORLD


Panelists


MAHTAB RASHDI

Mahtab Akbar Rashdi is a Pakistani politician who had been a Member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, from June 2013 to May 2018. She earned the degree of Bachelor of Arts from Government Girls College Hyderabad. She received the Bachelor of Education and the degree of Master of Arts in Political Science, both from the University of Sindh. She also did Master of Arts in Political Science from University of Massachusetts on the Fulbright Scholarship.

In 1981, she married Akbar Rashidi, a Bureaucrat. Later, she herself joined bureaucracy and started heading several departments including education, information and culture.

In 2004, President of Pakistan awarded her the Pride of Performance for her services.

AMIN HASHWANI

Amin Hashwani is a businessman, social activist and author, founder and supporter of initiatives in the field of health, education, youth development, art, culture and peace building.

Mr Hashwani has promoted peace between nations, spoken at think tanks and the United Nations. I lieu of his services he has been recognized by national and international institutions, and has received an honorary Doctorate. He was acknowledged as one of the 25 ‘Intelligent Optimists’ globally by Ode magazine. He is president of many organizations including I Am Karachi Society, Rural Educational Promotional and Development Society, Vice President, Governing Body the Agha Khan Hospital & Medical College Foundation, and Trustee, National Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases Trust, including others.

FOUZIA SAEED

A social scientist with a PhD from the University of Minnesota, Dr Fouzia Saeed is the Director General, Pakistan National Council of the Arts and has formerly served as executive director Lok Virsa, gender adviser to the UNDP and headed the UN Gender Program in Pakistan. She has made significant contributions in highlighting women’s issues.

Dr Saeed has always taken a courageous stand against sexual harassment and shown exemplary commitment to women’s advancement. She is a recipient of the Battle of Crete Award in memory of the bravery of women of Crete in the Second World War by Oxiday Foundation for her outstanding bravery and commitment to women causes.

NAZISH BROHI

Nazish Brohi does research and analysis in the social development sector in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, focusing on democratization, conflict, gender, and human rights. She has taught at Quaid-e-Azam University, authored various reports, and writes for Dawn newspaper.

Ms Brohi’s expertise includes: Research; analysis; evaluation; policy formulation; program development

TOPIC: PAKISTANI WOMEN AT THE CROSSROADS


KHADIJA SIDDIQUI

For a woman seeking justice in a legal system that is stacked against her fraternity, Khadija Siddiqui's life story provides a ray of hope. In May 2016, Ms Siddiqui was stabbed 23 times by a fellow student, son of a senior advocate. A determined Siddiqui fought a three-year long battle plus blackmail and harassment in court and finally justice prevailed-- or so she thought. To her shock and dismay, her assailant, who was sentenced to seven years, was subsequently released, sparking outrage on social media. Fortunately, the Supreme Court sprung into action with a suo moto and the case was reopened.

Ms Siddiqui pursued the case with renewed vigour in Lahore while studying for her law degree in the UK. Her eventual victory in the Supreme Court was deemed a victory for the women of Pakistan, who look up to her as a role model.

Now a committed and passionate human rights lawyer and activist, Ms Siddiqui Is a motivational speaker at various national and international forums. She is an ambassador for justice at CDRS and PTS Foundation, UK.

OMER AFTAB (PINK RIBBON)

Omer Aftab is a globally recognized campaign strategist for women and child health, economic and social development, social justice and human rights. As a strategist, Mr. Aftab has not only brought a positive change in the behavior of the general public but also introduced policy reforms for the development of youth and women. He is credited with launching far-reaching and courageous interventions in Pakistan such as the Pink Ribbon National Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, the White Ribbon Men’s Movement for Ending Violence Against Women and National Initiative on Health.

Mr Aftab is the only Pakistani professional who has been awarded the FrontLine Golden World Award by the International Public Relations Association – IPRA.

SAMINA BAIG

There ain't no mountain hard to climb... For Samina Baig, Pakistan's first female mountaineer. In eight months, she has scaled the seven highest mountains across seven continents, setting a record of sorts and winning multiple accolades, including the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance. Hailing from the Shimshal Valley in the Karakoram mountain range, she conquered her first peak (6400 meters) in 2011 and her second (6008 meters) in 2011. But the best was yet to come: Mount Everest in 2013.

Incidentally, she is the first Pakistani woman to embark on high altitude expeditions in winter. Now as part of the Pakistan Youth Outreach Programme, she promotes adventure sports, especially among Pakistani women who are trailing far behind.

ANIS HAROON

Anis Haroon is a Pakistani women's rights activist and former caretaker Provincial Minister of Sindh who served in 2013 caretaker ministry. She is the chairman of the National Commission on the Status of Women.

She holds a degree in LLB from University of Karachi. Anis Haroon was a former chair person of National Commission on Status of Women and Member National Human Rights Commission.