In celebrations of International Women's Day, we look into the extraordinary achievements of 15, out of the hundreds of others women from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, who are inspiring the world every day with their positive contributions to the society.
The United States of America has yet to elect its first female President.
Okay, let's switch the coordinates swiftly to Gilgit-Baltistan & Chitral (GBC) — a mountainous region in South Asia lying amid the greater Himalayas. Among the many traits the region has inherited from Pakistan, male dominance outstrips the others.
For centuries, there has rarely been any notable mention of women in any given field of life except for the folklore. However, during the past two decades time, the women of Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral have been breaking the barriers of not only gender discrimination but also the many challenges that are common to both men and women. At times, women have managed to leave behind their male counterparts.
Ambreen Ali is currently serving as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP). After passing her CSS exam in 2012, she was given responsibilities in Police Service of Pakistan (PSP). She is a graduate of NUML university in Islamabad.
Amen Aamir is a commercial pilot who started her flying career at the age of 20. She is currently under training at Rawalpindi Flying Club.
Alina Shigri is a broadcast journalist who has worked with many Pakistani news channels like PTV News, Indus News and Aaj TV. She currently hosts The Other Side on Waqt News.
Almas Aman has become a household name after releasing three back to back hit songs. Although her mother tongue is Wakhi but she has done over ten Shina tracks.
Amna Zamir is one of the finalists from Pakistan at British Council's Alumni Awards 2017. She is the first civil judge from Gilgit-Baltistan and is currently serving as a Senior Civil Judge in district Ghizer of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Diana Baig claimed to fame after becoming the first Pakistani female to represent Pakistan national teams in both cricket and football.
Fatima will be representing Pakistan at the Asian Winter Games being held in Japan. She is a skier who continues to pursue her passion alongside her studies. She is an undergrad student at NUST in Islamabad.
Hasina Zehra is a TV host who works with Radio Pakistan and Hadi TV, a religious channel based out of Rawalpindi.
Karishma is currently the only female football player from Chitral at club level. She plays for Chitral District and Highlanders Football Club. She has also represented Pakistan at Jubilee Games in Dubai.
Lakshan Bibi is the first ever pilot from the remote Kalash valley in Chitral. She is also the founder and Chairperson of Kalash Indigenous Survival Project (KIPS).
Misbah Mumtaz is one of the few faces from Gilgit-Baltistan who have made their way into the competitive fashion industry in Pakistan. She is a model and regularly works for big apparel and cosmetic brands.
Natasha Baig is a professional singer who has been part of the famous Sounds of Kolachi. She has appeared in a number of music shows and is regularly heard at major music concerts.
First Officer Natasha Sultan is currently the only female pilot in Shaheen Airlines. She received her training at AYLA Aviation Academy in Jordan.
Samina Baig was born and raised in Shimshal, a remote village in Gojal, Hunza. She is the first Muslim woman to climb Mount Everest.
Salima Begum is the only Pakistan teacher who has been nominated for the Global Teacher Prize 2017. She has published numerous research articles and has been acknowledged by USAID's Teacher Education project.
There are hundreds of other women from Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral who inspire us every day but we don't see them often on media. This list is a tribute to the women!
Special thanks to Misbah Abbas.
Happy International Women's Day.