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An Ode to the women of 21st Century

An Ode to the women of 21st Century

By: Dr Hani Zarbaft Ali

You are the giver of life, the creator of miracles, the magician. You were born with the heart of a thousand fearless, kind, loving mothers.

You were born with the fire of a queen and conqueror, the blood of a warrior who bleeds and dies.

You were born with the wisdom of a sage and a shaman, there’s no wound you can’t heal.

You were born to tell your own story, so don’t kneel before them. You were born to passionately desire and name your own destiny. You are more than what meets the eye.

You are infinitely loved. Remember your strength and grace, the depth of your deep ocean heart.

You are divine, as you have been from the beginning. In the words of the women’s rights activist and former South African

President Nelson Mandela:

“Freedom cannot be achieved unless women are liberated from all forms of oppression.” Through his presidential policies and advocacy as a human rights icon, Mandela campaigned for an end to the oppression of women worldwide. “Human rights mean nothing as long as women are bound by poverty and despised,” he said in a speech on International Women’s Day in 1996.

Today marks the celebration of all those women who have strived to change the notion of women’s role in modern society, pulling them from the clutches of patriarchy, violence, oppression & from the dearth of education. To the Pakistani women leaders, who are an icon for the emerging Gen-Z, whose hard work and dedication have instilled in modern women an irrevocable passion for new horizons. To name a few of my personal favourites: Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister, the woman democrat Benazir Bhutto, is an epitome of foresight & utmost valour, who singlehandedly lead a male dominated political marathon and remained in the national memory. She is held in high regards on National & International forums till date Ms Jinnah, the mother of the Nation, a dentist by profession & a great protagonist of civil rights, who played a pivotal role in uniting the women for Pakistan Movement & has inspired the generations through her wisdom & strength, in the historic Pakistani Movement.

Dr Nigar Johar, the Military’s first 3 star female surgeon general, laid the benchmark for females to pursue their passion in surgery & allied with an unstoppable force.

Dr Sania Nishter, the first female Cardiologist, who is currently serving as Special Assistant of Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, is described as a passionate leader who has a deep understanding of her field of work. As a global health and development leader, Dr. Nishtar is responsible for Ehsaas, the government’s flagship social protection programme that is improving the lives of millions of Pakistanis and helping empower women.

Samina Baig, the first Pakistani woman to summit Everest and all seven of the world’s highest peaks, showed there are no physical barriers for women to achieve heights in both the physical and figurative realms.

& lastly, the most precious of all to me, my mother Sababat Ali, who’s one of a kind, & is admired by many in the professional sphere. She herself began her career at the United Nations as a young diplomatic writer and economist. She left her mark as a former chairperson of the International Women’s Human Rights Organization of Pakistan. And at present is an Advocate at Global Law firms Isb, an Educationist by passion, & an absolutely phenomenal mother of 3 daughters.

I’m in awe of today’s women, who have come a long way to safeguard the rights of those underprivileged females who are still fighting the vicious cycles of modern day carnage at the expense of their rights to education, and basic livelihood. The hallmark of a progressive society is education without gender disparity, where men are the support system to their female counterparts, where a woman feels safe to work & is not seen as a vulnerable entity or a mere ornament of amusement, where violence is not justified, & a punishable crime. A woman is a force to be reckoned with, she’s a mother, a teacher, a doctor, a scientist, a lawyer, a pilot, an engineer, a politician, alas anything under the sun is in her domain.

And the age old adage, “behind every successful man, there’s a woman” has stood the test of time. Here’s to all the women across the globe who have gone above & beyond to secure an honourable place in the modern world & revere those who laid the foundation for women empowerment, and to those who continue to break the stigmas & shackles of a repressed nation to a more peaceful & equitable society.

The author is a 2024 grad from RMC, Khyber Medical University, Peshawar, her widespread interests revolve around public health & Interventional medicine.






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