Simi Raheal is a rare combination of a development trainer an educationist and media professional with over 4 decades of experience in the media and development sector. Her pivotal strength is bridging media and development. Her unique combination and diversity gives her an edge over most other trainers teacher and activists .Some of her key advocacy experience includes gender balance, reproductive health, media, communication and leadership workshops and curriculum design.
She has been an actor and anchor for public and private television Film and theater and a master trainer for gender reproductive health leadership, communication and human rights. She has worked with many national and international educational and development organizations currently teaching at BNU film and television school.
Dr. Tooba is a young, enthusiastic, and seasoned professional cum academician with 11 years of diversified post-qualification experience in the area of finance embracing Financial Administration, Financial Modelling & Business Analysis, followed by Financial Markets, surveillance and Investigations, fraud examination, Compliance AML/CFT, and research in finance. She has conducted numerous training and interactive sessions for students and professionals in her expert field and is well-equipped with various national and international training in the area of Financial modelling, planning, and analysis, scam frauds, money laundering, compliance, and research tools in finance. She is also well-versed in liaising with international departments including the World Bank, IOSCO and ADB. She takes pride in being an assessment review committee member of IOSCO for examining capital markets of Asia Pacific Group (APG) and also had been a member National Curriculum Review Committee (NCRC) meeting held by HEC Pakistan (HEC) for business and Commerce studies to inculcate financial literacy in Pakistan through designing undergraduate courses. She has been a member of the corporate advisory committee in universities, and a keynote speaker and evaluator to many startup competitions. Besides her corporate endeavours, she is excelling in her research career for the last 3 years which focuses on financial crimes through financial markets.
Through her venture “Finlance Global” she aims to impart financial literacy among masses to minimize financial crimes, encourage financial independence, and enhance professional capabilities.
She has done her PhD from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and is a Certified Capital Market Specialist (NUST), Certified Financial Analyst & Advisor (IFMP) and Certified AML/CFT & KYC/CDD (FCA). She is an author of different articles in journals, book chapters and a peer reviewer of journals in the field of finance.
Sabahat Javed is running her own management consultancy firm “GrowCon” where they educate social and educational awareness through training, awareness, and other programs. She is also working as an SBA Program coordinator with an international firm Idea Gist, where they are working for youth and community economic development and entrepreneurial projects.
Eleven years in the field gave her chances to work with multiple local, national, international NGOs, educational institutions, donor organizations, government departments, and consulting firms to facilitate social and development initiatives and reach the marginalized community.
She has been involved in human and institution development project management, capacity building, policy development, social mobilization, climate change, tourism, advocacy, Behavior Change Communication, and monitoring & evaluation in the field of education, Climate change, and social development.
As an independent consultant, she has done different assignments related to training designs, manual development, content writing, poetry, tourism promotion, survey with national and international organizations including Fredrick Neumann Foundation, Oxfam, School of leadership, Surhad Rural Support Program (SRSP), Norwegian refuge council, Pakistan manpower institute, and IRI Islamabad
Ms. Farhat founding CEO of Seerab Tech (Geospatial solutions for People) is an inspiration, motivation, and great source of encouragement for not only young girls but professionals as well. Her journey started back in 2016 from founding Seerab as a training, counseling and Consultancy Company in GIS, CAD, SDS, BIM, Data Analytics, Data Visualization. Same time Seerab Team innovated Seerab Maps as a solution to a real problem faced by them back in 2008 while investing in property. Seerab Maps on 7th September 2018 awarded as a best innovative solution for Real Estate by P@sha at P@sha ICT Awards 2018, Winner of Uberpitch Islamabad, Khadija encouragement Award by Islamabad Women Chamber of Commerce & Industry as well.
Farhat holds great values and strongly believes in giving back to the community and to fulfill her great urge launched a community service to facilitate Pilgrims during the pilgrimage to Makkah with the name of “Seerab Hajj Maps” and that as Seerab Maps is a huge success. Seerab Hajj Maps – awarded as “Best Community Service” by P@sha ICT Awards 2019. She is a judge and mentor to many prestigious startup competitions like nationwide startup competition NGIRI, Hult Prize, Tie Startup Cup, NASA Space Apps Challenge, Khudi, and many others. She is an official mentor of one of the world’s finest institutes for startups “Founder Institute”.
Other than her business she actively participates in social activities and is also a Core Team member of CXO-Pakistan – Pakistan’s leading community for IT industry C-level executives working tirelessly to make Pakistan a digital hub. She is President Change Maker Pakistan associated with Changemaker Norway, digital campaigners who raise voices for different social issues majorly related to women/education/environment. One of the successful social media campaigns was #YehMazakNahiHai to educate the masses about harassment and increase women’s public participation.
Mrs. Noshin Paracha is a seasoned educationist, entrepreneur, and trainer. Noshin has worked for renowned educational brands of Pakistan for over 14 Years serving in various challenging career roles.
Noshin holds an M.Edu degree and a BSC in Math, Stats, and Physics.
Mrs. Noshin Paracha is the Founder & Principal of Stepping Stones International School, Islamabad. The school aims for an enlightened Pakistan by serving its students. The school’s mission is to bring in quality education with standards of an international curriculum for EVERYONE, contributing actively to society. SSI School also empowers girls’ education & enrolls out-of-school children in accordance with SDG4 (sustaining development goal).
Noshin is also the author of Montessori books of SSI School. She is currently the Master Trainer for UNICEF & PAFEC for Early Childhood Development ECD. She is also a teacher’s trainer for Montessori training and has conducted various teachers’ training on communication and soft skills.
Noshin is also a certified Cambridge Leadership and Management professional.
Noshin served as the Head of the School for an international INGO School HDF. She has served in various challenging positions at Roots Millennium Schools, Pak-Turk & The City School.
Currently, Noshin is also heading several projects at the Lift Islamabad Road School System for out-of-school children. In parallel to other educational projects, Noshin is also working on UN SDG6( Clean Water & Sanitation).
Tayyaba Nisar Khan is a News Anchor at PTV World— an English offshoot of the State Television of Pakistan. She is the lead of Civic Engagement II group at the Prime Minister’s National Youth Council. Simultaneously, she is pursuing her M. Phil from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad in the department of Defence and Strategic Studies.
Ever since Tayyaba won her first debating competition at the tender age of 8, she has participated in multiple national and International competitions. At the age of 19, she was selected as the youngest Committee Director for a conference in Germany in 2013, and in the same year also won a parliamentary debate competition in Germany.
Tayyaba has represented Pakistan at various International conferences and youth forums.In the year 2014, Tayyaba was selected by the United States Exchange Program for the fully-funded ‘Study of U.S. Institute of Women Leadership’ program. Later, in 2015, Tayyaba represented Pakistan in the Youth Leadership Assembly at the United Nations General Assembly at New York City. She has also represented Pakistan at Russia in Eurasia Global Youth Forum in September 2021.
Tayyaba has also been invited to moderate multiple high-level events both in Pakistan and at International forums. She has moderated events for Government of Gilgit-Baltistan, United Nations Development Program, Italian Embassy, Serena Cultural Diplomacy Initiative, and more where ministers and esteemed guests were chief guests. She has also moderated multiple webinars, on of which has been aired on an Italian TV channel, Montagna TV.s
While working at PTV World, alongside News anchoring, hosting shows, researching, doing voice-overs, and briefly managing PTV Worlds social media page; Tayyaba has written scripts for, and produced documentaries that involve regional and international politics. One of her flagship documentaries played on PTV World numerous times is ‘Kashmir Under Siege- The journey of pain continues’, which features President AJK, Sardar Masood Khan, SAPM Dr. Moeed Yusuf, ex-Permanent Representative to UN, Ms. Maleeha Lodhi, and other analysts. She has hosted special shows where she has interviewed Ministers such as Federal Minister for Human Rights, Dr. Shireen Mazari, MNA Ms. Maleeka Bukhari, Executive Director of Digital Rights Foundation, Nighat Dad etc.
Dr. Sania Zaheer Ali is 10 years experienced academician with proven research, teaching, and administration expertise. She has done Ph.D. in Business Administration with a specialization in Human Resource Management. She is the first in her family to achieve the highest academic degree. She has published several papers in national and international journals and conference proceedings. She was awarded the “Best Paper Presentation Award” In the second National Conference, “Towards Sustainable Development: Applied Management Research for Solving Indigenous Problems,” organized by the University of Malakand, Pakistan, held from 25th-26th April 2019. She has attended a course on “Inspirational leadership: Leading with Sense” by HEC, Paris, and a course on “Qualitative research” by the University of Amsterdam. She is also a certified trainer at SMEDA, Pakistan.
Furthermore, she speaks at different events as a resource person and motivational speaker. Moreover, she is a mental health advocate and organizes various workshops and events to create awareness, particularly for youth. Teaching is her passion, and she loves her job and those who make it, i.e., my students. She has been a visiting lecturer at FATA University, Dara Adam Khel. Presently, she is serving as Assistant Professor and Campus Director at Preston University, Kohat.
Dr. Faryal Razzaq has very diverse experience as a seminal academician, master trainer, research consultant, blogger for national newspapers, influencer, panelist for National TV, philanthropist, Emotional Intelligence/ethics’ education evangelist, Women’s rights advocate, instructional designer & member advisory boards for few institutions including Bahria University Business School curriculum advisory committee for BBA/MBA, established ZAB Curriculum advisory & Regulation of Emotion Centre (SZABIST). She has a Ph.D. in Emotional Intelligence, developed the first indigenous model, scale, and theory for emotional intelligence at the Pakistani workplace.
She has many research publications in HEC recognized journals/ national/ international conferences. She is on the board of reviewers for 8 research journals & Congress on Academy of Management. She has served in SZABIST- Islamabad and Quaid-i-Azam University as an Assistant professor prior to joining Karachi School of Business and Leadership as Director of Ethics.
She is a mentor for National Incubation Centre, CaterpillHer (Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship at Santa Clara University, CA., USA), CGI (NUML University), BIC, and USAID program (Bahria University), SEED, Khudi-A women empowerment project, and board member for Accountability Lab. She was the only female given fellowship by Founder Institute (Silicon Valley, CA., USA) Islamabad chapter.
She is the founder of The FEEEL ® (Framework of Emotions, Ethics, Empowerment and Life skills) Pakistan’s first digital company working on emotional preventive care through self-help coping strategies. She is the patron-in-chief of Pakistan’s first research-based digital magazine on emotional health, ‘The FEEEL Magazine’, and creator and owner of the first video literacy syllabus to develop emotional resilience for primary kids, ‘The FEEEL Toons’. As a startup founder, she won the Women SDG Challenge Cup at Hackathon 2019.
Romina Khurshid Alam is a passionate activist and politician. As a female christian her political career was one that was laden with the double burden of belonging to two marginalized social categories. Her dedication culminated in her election as an MNA despite the odds stacked against her.
Romina is currently a member of many organizations such as the Federal Think Tank of Climate Change, Nursing Council, National Institute of Health & Women Caucus. At the international level, she is serving as Convener of Philippines and Singapore, Coordinator of Netherlands, Sweden and France Friendship Groups and Ambassador of South Asian Physicians and Surgeons Academy. Along with this she has had the opportunity to attend many international conferences like AFPPD, Reconnecting Afghanistan and EU Meeting on Central Asia. Her achievements include successfully completing the National Security Workshop of 2015 and the National Media Workshop Group 5.
She has served as a General Secretary Youth Women Wing of PML-N as well as Chief Coordinator of the Prime Minister Youth Program; Laptop Scheme and Fee Reimbursement Program. She is also working as a Media Coordinator for Young Parliamentarians Forum (YPF) in the National Assembly.
Romina is passionate about a diverse set of issues including Climate Change, Minority Rights, Transgender Issues, Violence against Women, Early Child Marriages, Interfaith Harmony, Youth and the Kashmir issue. She has been one of the Chief Organizers of Summer Mela 2011, International Youth Day 2015 as well as Kashmir Black Day Seminar. Interestingly, she is also a qualified beautician and grooming specialist, skills that she has channeled productively towards positive social change. For instance, Romina became Honorary Ambassador of Bait-ul-Maal’s Women Vocational Training Centre on the basis of the “We” initiative that she set up. The initiative encompassed a house for clothing, saloon, and interior design and it has helped train and empower many under-privileged women. The start-up is a reflection of her dedication to women issues, her entrepreneurial spirit as well as the unlimited possibilities available to women who look beyond the horizon.
Mrs. Zia S. HasanCo-founder & Director, NShield Solutions
Mrs. Zia S. Hasan | Co-founder & Director, NShield Solutions
Zia S. Hasan is a dynamic and progressive professional having an extensive experience in Entrepreneurship, Pharmaceutical Quality Assurance, Microbiology, Health, Safety and Environment, Social Media Marketing and Customer-Centric Marketing for Entrepreneurs.
Zia is a Co-founder and Director of NShield Solutions, a Nanotechnology-based surface protection company in Pakistan and Dubai. Due to her strong leadership, hard work and vision, NShield have now become Pakistan’s biggest surface protection company offering products and services for automotive and other industries. Zia is the first and only woman in Pakistan who is successfully leading the Ceramic Glass Coating business, breaking the social barriers and the mindset that women can not lead men-centric business domains.
Zia has a Masters degree in Microbiology from the University of Karachi. She has received Certificates with Distinction in Quality and Safety in Global Health Care from Harvard T.H Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University and Global Health Governance from the University of Copenhagen.
Zia passionately advocates for gender equality and for girls education. She wants them to write their own destiny. She wants girls to not only become good homemakers but also doctors, lawyers, engineers, pilots, scientists, teachers, and business owners to bring a progressive change in the society. She wants women to turn their creativity into a business. She had founded and chaired a Ladies Club during her stay in KSA, arranged many networking events for women and promoted their home businesses.
The greatest challenge she faced is the work-life balance. The demands that work and life throw at one can easily mount up to incredible levels. Being a mother of twins, she has been handling many things together for years. It has taught her patience and ability to take balanced decisions.
The education for girls and gender equality have many direct effects on economic growth of the country and human welfare. By becoming the role model for PAGE, She pledges to make efforts to help our girls achieve their dreams, and guide them to make a positive difference in their lives.
We at PAGE welcome Ms. Zia. S. Hasan on board as part of our team and hope that together we will work to inspire girls towards a better future.
Umm-e-Rubab is a talented professional in the field of Human Resources. Her exceptional skills in Strategic Human Resource Management, Recruitment & Training, Performance & Change Management and Organizational Development have been the hallmarks of an illustrious career.
Acquiring a Masters degree in Public Administration she has worked her way up the ladder strenuously, applying her collective knowledge to add great value to the companies she’s been a part of, first as a competent manager, then as a department head, and going further as a global manager and Director of Human Resources.
Rubab’s competency has been further bolstered by several certifications she has received along the way, including ‘Employee Engagement’, ‘Succession Planning’, ‘Using Advance Human Capital Measurement Metrics to Drive Business Results’, ‘Importance of Soft Skills for Managers’ and ‘Strategic Management for Managers’.
The success that Rubab has seen throughout her career has not been without its fair share of challenges. As a person who was given such important responsibilities in the early days of her career, Rubab witnessed a fair deal of skepticism over her abilities to execute early on, since conventionally employees have been judged based on their age and experience. There has also been the matter of the glass ceiling, as being a female professional has held back many from advancing their careers in a male dominating society. However, despite these challenges, Rubab’s passion and commitment to her career choice helped her win the admiration and respect of her peers and helped pave the way for the success that she has witnessed over the past years.
With the kind of success that Rubab has achieved over her career, she now resolves to share her experiences with other women and help them reach for the power to make their dreams a reality and we at PAGE welcome her on board as our Role model and our hopeful that together we will inspire girls towards a better future.
Nadia Bukhari is a British Pakistani pharmacist from the University College London (UCL). She holds many post graduate diplomas; in Pharmacy Practice and in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. Nadia also holds the prestige honor of being a Fellow of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. She is the youngest female to be honored with this title, showing her commitment and excellence in the profession of pharmacy.
Nadia’s climb to the top has been one filled with struggles, hard work, determination and perseverance. However, she believes her journey has shaped her personality and is what made her stronger. When Nadia spent time working at Bart’s and The London NHS Trust as a clinical pharmacist in surgery, she developed a keen interest in teaching. She goes out of her way to help young and ambitious students with summer placements and mentorship.
Nadia has a passion for empowering women and young girls and believes in being a strong advocate for career women with families, encouraging them to pursue a professional as well as personal life.
Mrs. Bukhari was also the host of a TV show in 2015 during the month of Ramadan, titled ‘Health is Wealth’, where she invited a range of guests consisting of doctors and nurses to discuss a plethora of medical issues and provide viewers with advice.
Nadia is currently a Senior Teaching Fellow in Pharmacy Practice, Alumni Coordinator and Pre-registration coordinator at the UCL School of Pharmacy.
Benazir Jatoi is a passionate lawyer committed to human rights, with particular emphasis on women, minorities, govenrance and rule of law related issues.
She advises the Aurat Foundation on law, gender and governance issues. Her role involves actively working with women from the grassroots level up to all relevant governmental and lawmaking bodies for the promotion of pro-women legislation. In addition to this, Benazir is co-editor of the organization’s quarterly newsletter, Legislative watch. The newsletter is a critical appraisal of pro-women legislation, the performance of women legislatures, an analytical assessment of governance and of those institutions that directly impact women. Benazir regularly reviews the organization’s other publications as well.
Benazir has made significant parliamentary contributions in Pakistan. She drafted a Sikh Marriage Bill (a personal law for the Sikh community in Punjab) and even contributed to the proposed draft legislation to ban the informal justice system (jirgas/panchyats). Notably, at the request of the Ministry of Human Rights, she drafted the national policy on ending gender violence for the Government of Pakistan. In addition to this, she has contributed towards the critique and comments of various recent pro-women laws, including the Punjab Protection of Women’s against Violence Act, 2015 and amendments to the ‘honour’ killings law.
As a public speaker and regular writer for the op-ed pages of the Express Tribune, highlighting social topics including minorities, women and constitutional and legal issues, Benazir influences debates on a wide range of issues pertaining to women’s empowerment, such as the political participation and representation of women.
In the past, Benazir has worked with Bates, Wells & Braithwaite (BWB), the UK’s leading law firm for charity and social enterprise related work. She is a passionate believer in voluntary work and has been involved in efforts to provide free legal advice, working with those seeking asylum, helping a charity that publishes braille books for blind students, assisting with proving legal advice to Guantanamo detainees, working on AID/HIV awareness, to name a few. Her voluntary work has been stretched over many years, with a wide array of organizations in the UK, Nigeria and Pakistan.
As a full time working mother, Benazir has found it challenging to create a balance that does not compromise her time with her children. She adamantly believes that there is a need for a culture of understanding for working mothers in terms of flexibility of working hours without the association of negative stigmas. “If we want more women in the workforce, we must recognize that unless an enabling environment exists, words such as women’s empowerment and participation are hallowed and will never change ground realities.”
Madeeha Khan is a Mentor and Coach by Passion first then by Profession. She is committed for promoting Growth Mind-set & Empathetic Soul-set, Personal & Professional Development, Youth Empowerment and mainly Women Empowerment.
Being a learner at heart, Madeeha believes in knowledge gaining and also sharing. She feels that she is a people’s person and one major goal of her life is to contribute and pay back to the society as she would like to enable and empower other people.
Her commitment to her passion is beyond her professional career; she is an active volunteer since 2012 towards mentoring and coaching across the globe. She has had represented Pakistan internationally as a Jury Member and Speaker in most influential conferences for Scrum & Agile communities running across United Kingdom, Nepal, Africa, Europe, United States of America. As of yet, Madeeha Khan is first ever and only Pakistani/Pakistan Resident so far across globe who has been part of these Scrum Gathering(s) as a Speaker and as a Jury member.
Her key message is that “Always follow your passion”
Dr. Faryal Razzaq | Research Consultant and Trainer with a PhD in HR
Dr. Faryal is an HR professional, academic, trainer, research consultant, blogger panelist for TV, member advisory boards for few institutions including Bahria University Business school curriculum for BBA/MBA, Board of reviewers for research journals and founder FEEEL a startup for emotional hygiene that provide emotional first aid services. She has 5 copy rights from IPO, Pakistan.
Having developed the first indigenous model for emotional intelligence at Pakistani workplace with copy right model and scale her training expertise include, life skills, EQ, anger management, stress management, changing mindset, proposal writing, research, ethics, women empowerment and effective change management etc. She has trained in leading Pakistani and foreign universities. She is a mentor for NIC and member board
for few startups like accountability lab, Dryfus advisor READ, trainer/member Women on Board, Connected Women, Pakistan Youth Association, Be the Change etc.
She is a reviewer for Academy of management and 7 prestigious research journal, board member, consultant for British Council and CWS (Act alliance Asia Chapter) and US Embassy. Having around 20 research publications in HEC recognized journals and national/international conferences she appears in print and electronic media as expert.
She has been awarded HEC grants twice to present her research abroad. She is an approved trainer for Google signature workshop #IamRemarkable and well versed in software’s like SPSS, SMART PLS, NVIVO etc. She is a woman who broke many taboos. Being a house wife she resumed her
education after 17 years and did MBA, MS and PhD. She also broke lead ceiling and entered workforce in her 40s. She has been chosen by daily times as a symbol for women empowermen. Dr. Faryal strongly believes the only things that blocks one’s success are one’s own mental hindrances and that there is no shortcut for success and only grit can get you there.
We at PAGE welcome Dr.Faryal on board as our Role Model and hope that together we will be able to inspire many young girls who lack that motivation and are in need for proper mentoring.
Ms. Momina QureshiMicrosoft Certified Professional
Ms. Momina Qureshi | Microsoft Certified Professional & Ambassador of KPK IT Board
Momina Qureshi is pursuing her degree in computer systems engineering from UET Peshawar. She is a motivational speaker and host and has hosted many events related to IT as well as organized various workshops. She has been an active participant of “Active Citizen” a British council program. She is a firm believer of women empowerment through entrepreneurship and on many occasions she has been vocal about her views in how women can participate in workforce and develop the necessary competencies required to start entrepreneurial ventures.
Ms.Qureshi has also served as a moderator of community and entrepreneurship panel. Currently she is the ambassador of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa IT board (KPIT board). Ms.Qureshi is Microsoft certified professional and has been awarded scholarship after being a topper in Abbottabad Board. Her aim is to motivate girls towards education and develop their interest in IT Field. She has volunteered her time and energy and worked with many organizations for the betterment of youth and for their empowerment.
Saima Khalid, an Educationist, is rendering her services as a visiting professor in renowned educational institutions of Islamabad. Alongside being an Educationist she is also working as a Human Rights Activist and as a Politician to bring greater impact and change in the society. Possessing a dynamic personality; Ms. Khalid belongs to the remote area of KPK. She was the first girl in her family who secured admission in Quaid-e-Azam University and pursued her studies despite the societal pressures. She demonstrated her intellect and brilliance by securing scholarships and positions throughout her academic career.
Determined to empower other women she established her NGO in 2012 and in incumbent as CEO of Musahiba Trust & GS of Centre for Empowering bsociety (KPK & Islamabad based).
To bring greater impact Ms. Khalid joined PTI and proved herself as an active worker. Seeing her efforts, she was awarded with ticket to contest the General Election of 2018 from the most remote constituency PK-42. She proved herself as a famous and successful female contestant and she worked diligently to change the mindset of male dominating society by creating her own place and position amongst them. She earned the highest Vote bank among all the women contestants of KPK. It was her spirit and devotion that made her face all the hindrances in her path way to success with courage.
Ms. Mohsin is a youth enthusiast and an advocate of women empowerment through education. She believes that educated girls are the power houses for a society, that spreads light everywhere andmakes them confident and independent.
She on various forums has always highlighted the obstacles girls face in our country in terms of education, access to opportunities and voicing their opinions. It is her passion to talk to young girls to work towards getting education and be the best version of themselves.
While tutoring them over the weekends she likes to mentor them by listening to their problems and help them find their passions and strengths.
Ms. Mohsin is a mother to three beautiful girls and holds a master’s degree in business administration with 14 years of professional experience.
Ms. Amara is a Historian with keen interest in research and writings on various social, national and political issues. After securing a B.S Hons Degree from
University of Gujrat(Gujrat) she went on to pursue an M.Phil. Degree in History to hone her skills as an historian from the same university.
Despite the financial constraints and moral crisis, she faced especially after the death of her father she continued her educational journey and pursued her dreams dealing with challenges head on. It was her determination that made her secure Scholarship from Higher Education Commission during her B.S Hons, Scholarship
of Punjab Education Endowment Fund in MPhil and Scholarship from Allama Iqbal Educational foundation Sialkot.
Currently she is working as an Admin Officer at DA’ART Institute of Art and Design Lahore. She also possess experience as a Research Assistant and her
writings include Research on Music as a Cultural Heritage and Research on Nationalist Politics, Urdu Writing( Dastan Goyi).
After completing her MBBS from the pioneer batch of Shifa College of Medicine in December of 2003, she moved to UK for higher education and training. Sadaf completed an extended two-year foundation program, equivalent to house job from Isle of Man and Mid Yorkshire NHS Trust. Following that she trained for almost 6 years in the field of medicine with core training in Acute Medicine. Sadaf is trained in Basic and Advance Life Support (ILS and ALS) plus Advanced Cardiac Life Support and Pediatric Life Support (ACLS and PLS). After completing her training, she relocated back to Pakistan with the intention of giving back to the country and is currently in touch with a team of experts who offer resuscitation trainings to get ILS training available and mandatory across all schools of the region for both staff and secondary year students.
Growing up in a family of 5 girls, Sadaf believes her parents have done them a kindness by always emphasizing on education. As this education, has enabled her to independently work for her and her country. Today, as an individual belonging to the educated elite, she considers it her responsibility towards the society at large to promote girls’ education so that all the girls are capable of lifting the weights and pressures of career and personal life without depending upon others. She believes girls should be self-sufficient in all sphere of life and the only way to achieve that kind of success and progress is by ensuring quality education for the girls of Pakistan. We are proud of her commitment towards girls’ education and feel lucky to have her on board as our Role Model.
Mrs. Nadia Bibi SarwarBlogger, Public Speaker and Trainer
Mrs. Nadia Bibi Sarwar | Blogger, Public Speaker and Trainer
Nadia Bibi Sarwar is a recent medical graduate from Khyber Medical University Peshawar, Pakistan. She completed her Bachelors in Science from Hazara University, Mansehra. She is a blogger by choice, a speaker by passion, an entrepreneur and doctor by profession.
Possessing a charismatic and influential personality, Nadia Sarwar, undoubtedly is a treasure of wisdom, confidence and courage. Ms.Sarwar is an institution in herself, dedicated to learn and make other people learn and polish themselves up to their best. She’s of the vision to educate people about teambuilding, communication skills, economic growth, self-productivity, stoutheartedness and awareness to one’s own health and happiness. She’s a brave and stalwart lady, who is always ready to accept the challenges and have the courage to take the plunge easily without having fear and insecurities of stepping back.
Nadia is a speaker by passion. She speaks her heart out and involves her audience in some comicality that catches their attention and leaves the never ending positive effects on her listeners. Nadia is reality-biased as well as believes in finding positivity in the tough and remorse present day realities. Being a female belonging to a very remote area, Mansehra- a city of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, it was very difficult for her to build her career as a speaker and as a social activist but she continued despite the obstacles. She was invited as a speaker in Indonesia where she represented Pakistan and her university and won the best speaker award for being the influential speaker among 21 different speakers of the world. Recently Ms.Sarwar visited Morocco where she was invited as a Speaker in “World Merit Summit” and represented Pakistan and her startup (Sehat Karwan) on International level.
Nadia is a specialist in Soft skill developing and a trainer at social and development sector. She started the journey of her career in blogging and writing articles and content in the year 2007. Starting from a very small scale, she now is at the top of her career. She’s been writing blogs and articles for organizations not only in Pakistan but also across the globe. She is a social activist and a well-known motivational speaker. She spent her life in social and youth sector, serving the cream people of the nation. Her career as a motivational speaker started in 2011-when she first spoke for the public and up till now with the help and blessing of Almighty, she has trained and mentored 3000 plus individuals. Moreover, she is training a large number of non-government youth organizations as well as private sectors.
Ms. Gull Zeba JawadCEO - Pernia Couture, Multi Brand Store
Ms. Gull Zeba Jawad | CEO, Pernia Couture, Multi Brand Store
Ms. Gull Zeba Javed is the Chief Executive Officer of REDMARKER Systems Islamabad.She has been associated with Education industry for the last 12 years and was incumbent as Deputy Director Project Coordination in NEEF (National Examination and Evaluation Foundation). She is well equipped with wide variety of skills that she has attainted over the years with her vast experience that includes working with PEF, SEF, National ICTRDF and has successfully completed 50 plus projects. Ms. Gull has a huge field network all over Pakistan. She is also serving as a Board Member PHA Rawalpindi.
Ms. Gull firmly believes in the economic development and empowerment of women through entrepreneurship. She is also incumbent as the Vice Chairperson of women Entrepreneurs of Rawalpindi Chamber Of Commerce and Industry. Ms. Gull is passionate about helping women entrepreneurs expand and scale up their businesses. Her experience and work makes her a true Role Model for young girls and we at PAGE are humbled to have her on board as part of our team.
Dr Saadia Riaz is leading Rheumatologist in Islamabad,Pakistan. After acquiring MBBS degree from pioneer batch of Shifa College of Medicine she decided to go to UK for further studies which she considers as a life altering decision for her. Being raised in patriarchal society and travelling to a foreign land without any assistance of a man didn’t come without its challenges. She didn’t let anything hinder her studies and chased her dreams working for the past 10 years in the UK, at the state of the art hospitals and acquiring advanced knowledge and skills.
Dr. Saadia has been awarded with highest medical qualifications in united kingdom including MRCP ,member royal collage of physcians and FRCP ,fellow royal collage of physicians ( UK), SCE (Speciality Certificate Examination) and EULAR qualification on Rheumatic Diseases from the UK. She has more than 10 years of experience practising in high-ranked hospitals across the UK.
Dr. Saadia pioneers in creating awareness about diseases of bone, joints, muscles and nonsurgical management in Pakistan. She is currently working as a Rheumatologist in Islamabad Specialist Clinic. She is working on various projects including social media, medical camps, personal lectures at organization to achieve target of “early recongiton and treatment of rheumatic diseases,as it can prevent patients from disability”.
She is a Rheumatologist by profession but a humanitarian by occupation. Although medicine has always been her passion. It was and always will be her desire to help others. Being a Rheumatologist one of her ambition is to create public awareness about her field of specialization. Since many people don’t know what Rheumatology is, by the time they reach a specialist they have permanent deformities. In this regard , her facebook awareness page has received an overwhelming response by patients.
Her story is a living example that it does not matter who you are and where you are from , if you have motivation and dedication and you are brave enough to chase your dreams you can and will always succeed. We at PAGE are humbled to have her as our Role Model and welcome her on board.
Mrs. Kanwal Shouzab | Social Scientist & Researcher
Kanwal is an ambitious young woman who has demonstrated admirable perseverance with regards to pursuing her education despite highly unfavorable circumstances. Her youthful dreams of becoming an architect or a banker were thwarted when her parents pressurized her into marriage immediately after she completed her Undergraduate Examinations in Mathematics, Statistics and Economics. The arduous struggle of balancing household responsibilities with her education first became a glaring reality when she had to give a University Admission interview the same day as her mayoun.
In spite of her determination, Kanwal only managed to complete two levels of Interior Design from Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Life after marriage, raising her two children and managing the household consumed all of her time and energy. She did, however, complete a Montessori course which enabled her to begin working as a teacher in different schools in Karachi and Islamabad.
When her children reached the school-going age, and she was more adept at her duties as a housewife after 10 years of marriage, she revisited her educational aspirations. She joined a Masters program at NUML University and completed it in the first division. It was whilst studying here that Kanwal joined political life as a youth leader in the university in 2010. Since then she has been a politically active citizen, working for women rights. She currently works for the PTI Women’s wing.
She went on to pursue an MPhil in Governance and Public Policy from NDU, framing her thesis on Caste-based discrimination against women in Urban Islamabad. Later, she joined a prestigious program at the National Institutes of Pakistan Studies at Quaid e Azam University. Her curiosity to expand her knowledge and her experiences remained unquenched, and she received the DAAD scholarship to study the practice and theory of democracy in Germany.
Now a successful social scientist and researcher, Kanwal works with South Asian Federation of Exchanges ( SAFE) as Chief Coordinator for their initiative, “Women On Boards.” In collaboration with Hanss Siedel foundation, she has carried out in-depth research on the discrimination faced by Christian women in Pakistan. She has also conducted various workshops as a master trainer to give political training and awareness to women politicians at all levels. She now aims to pursue a Ph.D.
Samrah Azam is a highly experienced Management Consultant, Corporate Trainer and Motivational Speaker. She is the CEO of Vigo Business Consulting Pvt Ltd which is a global Management Training and Consulting firm growing towards becoming the World’s leading adviser on Business Strategy, Process Management, Thought Leadership, Capacity building and Conference management. Samrah is also working as Executive Director at Global Chamber with a five year contract to promote International Trade. Additionally, she is the President of the Centre of Entrepreneurship and launched a project, the New Global, to assist Political Figures and organizations.
Beyond the corporate sector, Samrah is also an innovative social entrepreneur, directing much of her energy towards bringing about positive change. She has been the Director of the Innovation and Research department of Cherished Group since January 2001 and even co-founded Cherished Foundation which works for societal development, especially the empowerment of women and children. In the past few years, she has also managed several community projects for women’s health and education such as the Armario Design House which encourages female entrepreneurship by promoting their brands, products, and handicrafts. Moreover, she is a member of the Advisory board of the International Supply Chain Education Alliance – ISCEA.
Samrah was awarded a US State fully funded Scholarship for Pakistani Women Entrepreneurs to Scale up their Businesses in 2015 – a Joint Program by American University and LUMS. She has also been deemed among best MBA faculty of “Creative thinking and Reasoning.” Her publications include an exploration of the impact of Training Needs Assessment and Employee Performance, with Human Resource Training and Development as a mediator.
She is affiliated with several professional organizations including Human Resources Global: Inspiring Global Women. Open Islamabad, Islamabad Women Chamber and Entrepreneurs and CEO’s Forum, Global Chamber. In fact, she served as the Country Director, Pakistan of the Institute of Leadership & Global Education – ILGE, New York, USA before joining Vigo.
Mrs. Maria Iqbal TaranaChair of Women's Commission AJK
Mrs. Maria Iqbal Tarana | Chair of Women's Commission AJK
Maria is an ambitious young woman from Muzaffarabad, passionate about improving the conditions of her own community. She has been actively involved in the cause of improving political participation in Kashmir as well as the representation of the issue on international media. Maria struggled with the loss of her father at a very young age as well as the financial burden that accompanied it. She began giving tuitions in determination to keep her father’s local magazine afloat, with the firm belief that women could also be bearers of a family legacy.
She left for London in the adverse aftermath of the 2005 earthquake, but upon returning four years later with her degree, Maria re-immersed herself in the Kashmiri cause. She started work with the Kashmir Institute of International Relations where she represented the State of Kashmir at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva Switzerland. More recently, she has been appointed as the Chairperson of Status of Commission AJK, giving her the perfect platform to represent women of Kashmir on the government level and to create initiatives to support women empowerment in the region. Maria has also taken up social causes in her marginalized region, and recently established a nonprofit organization ‘Aam Taleem’ which is geared towards supporting the education of children in poverty-stricken areas in AJK and providing free uniforms, books and other basic start-up packs.
It had been a long cherished wish of Nahid Nasimi to pursue a career in medicine. However, for a long time she feared that she would have to abandon her aspirations; her status as an Afghan refugee excluded her from state support and funding programs, and despite the support of her family all doors into the medical field seemed closed to her by virtue of social and financial barriers.
She managed to persevere when upon giving an entry test Nahid was selected for the Skill Development Project by the ARC for a course of ‘Community Midwifery” at PIMS in 2015. She seized this opportunity to acquire new skills and knowledge from qualified faculty members, doctor and nurses at PIMS who supported and encouraged her to fulfill her dreams of achieving a quality education. Although she continues to face the insecurity and discrimination of her refugee status as well as the general restraints imposed upon her gender such as a lack of mobility and not being able to take the night shift at the hospital for instance, she continues to traverse the path towards empowerment and can now proudly refer to herself as a skilled health professional.
Rubina Khalid is a politician and a senator from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, affiliated with Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). She traces this affiliation back to when she was a student, having been greatly inspired by Benazir Bhutto while she was doing her L.L.B from Khyber Law College, Peshawar. Rubina was born into a strong political family who supported her education as well as her political career, despite the constraints imposed upon her gender by society at large. However, she had to grapple with the loss of her husband in a car crash in 2011. She had worked very closely with her husband on a number of issues, particularly cultural studies.
After his death, she continues to be closely aligned with the National Institute of Cultural Studies (NICS,) and a passionate advocate of skills training. She believes that the conventional education model fails to cater to the career needs of people from diverse backgrounds; instead, she wants to bring the designer and the artisan together to make sellable products that help improve the economic standing of people that are otherwise left out of economic life. She is on the Standing Committee on Marginalized Segments of Society, Defense Production, Climate Change, National Heritage and Integration, as well as Information and Broadcasting. She is also a member of the board of governors at the Pakistan Institute for Parliamentary Services (PIPS.)
Urooj Raza is a renowned multimedia journalist from Pakistan with experience at the country’s biggest TV channels, FM Radios and newspapers. Avidly expressing herself through print, film and online media she has pursued a wide array of humanitarian issues, engaging with the war against terror, diplomatic affairs, health care, foreign policy, youth activism, as well as women’s rights and gender.
Currently she is an anchorperson for “Muqabil” on 92 News Channel. She has also worked as a senior correspondent and Senior Content Researcher for Capital TV, Islamabad where she was a producer and reporter for a show about current affairs. She also hosted a current affairs show at Roze TV. Before that, she worked as a special correspondent news and national affairs reporter for News One TV. She has worked and produced content for several other news outlets including Pakistan Today, Journalism Pakistan, The Diplomat and Pakistan Wide Magazines.
Urooj Raza went for training on inter-cultural reporting at Deutsche Welle, Bonn, Germany in 2009. There she was offered a fellowship on the basis of excellent performance, which she completed in media reporting and production Studies, audio editing software, newsroom management system, the content management system for internet page, reporting & coverage of many internal events. She was declared the best reporter during the fellowship. Urooj has a master’s degree in literature from the Peshawar University, a Bachelor of Law from Karachi University.
As a freelance host and compere, she has also engaged in media development work for Diplomat offices and several NGOs working on human rights issues. She is the founder and director of Mother memorial school for street children and child protection center, which she opened in 2011. Furthermore, she has released many publications on issues such as child abuse, child traumas and education. She is also passionate about poetry and is the proud author of two books of Urdu poetry. Her blogs can be read on http://uroojsayyami.blogspot.com/
Rezwana Khan is a management consultant, trainer and psychotherapist. She struggled with an unhappy marriage that culminated in a bitter separation, after which she had to survive without her two children. She did not let the burden of living alone and supporting herself without any economic backing bring her down. Instead, with nothing but her MBA in marketing from the Institution of Management Sciences in Lahore, she set out to prove herself; she worked hard and stayed focused, excelling in her career. She has now been associated with the development sector for over a decade, working with organizations such as USAid as well as the Agha Khan Foundation. She has also volunteered in various organizations in various capacities, abiding by an unwavering commitment to certain values. Resolved to help young girls in their emotional development, she attained a diploma for psychotherapy, attending and speaking at several lectures and even helping clients at home. Rezwana represents what it means to be an independent and resilient woman, determined to positively channel her adverse experiences in such a way as to help other women be strong and confident.
amar’s journey leading up to becoming a nationally acclaimed athlete was one that was laden with financial as well as cultural restraints, as a girl from a single parent household in Lower Dir, KPK. Though her mother encouraged and supported her education, she resisted her involvement in sports, deeming physical activity inappropriate for females. Samar not only attained a masters degree in physics but simultaneously took up several online jobs, determined to pursue her passion for sports irrespective of the hurdles in her path. She took up many sports such as cycling, trekking, paragliding and even the martial arts.
Her most challenging expedition across the mighty Karakorams, earned her a place in the Pakistan Book of Records when she became the first Pakistani to traverse to the formidable heights of the Khunjerab Pass and the Biafo Glacier on a bicycle at over 4693m, covering a 1000km distance. It is not just her personal achievements that make Samar a beacon for female empowerment though, but her vision to channel her passion for sports into a means to assert her right to public space as a woman. She has organized cycling rallies in various cities across the country, encouraging hundreds of girls to challenge gender norms and stigmas, and inspiring them to pursue their dreams.
Sihah Waris is a tech entrepreneur, whose professional journey began when she launched Solugix Pvt Ltd in 2013, an IT firm focusing on web development and design services, providing IT solutions to small and medium companies worldwide. In 2015, she was granted a scholarship to join the first batch of students at the Islamabad Chapter of the Founder Institute. She became the first female graduate of this prestigious entrepreneurship accelerator program, and was even declared the “Top Founder” for her new startup, RiseMom.
Rise Mom focuses on enabling professional women to balance the demands of career advancement with the demands of motherhood, by creating a stress-free online daycare monitoring system. The online platform and mobile application connect working mothers to their kids through live video feeds and status updates about their child’s activities. The Start-Up can thus be seen to offer a techno-social solution that may reduce the percentage of women that quit their jobs upon having children. More information about Rise Mom is available on www.risemom.com
More generally, Sihah aspires to promote female entrepreneurship in Pakistan. She dreamed of building a company of her own from a young age and with its’ fulfillment she now aims to continue managing startups, mentoring founders and inspiring women to be independent and self-sufficient. She believes that the secret to her success lies in self-belief, motivation, and passion and wants to share this message with women all over the country.
Mrs. Nergis Ameerr Khan | Development Practitioner
Nergis is an experienced development sector practitioner, having worked with many diverse organizations on a wide range of projects in senior management positions. Currently she is working as the Project Manager of International Catholic Migrant Commission (ICMC) an international project under UNHCR that focuses on the rehabilitation of refugees from Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, Iran, Turkey and Iraq. In 2014, she was awarded the title of “ Humanitarian Hero” by UNHCR & ICMC for her efforts and commitment.
Her professional advancement was the result of handwork and commitment. She lost her husband as well as her parents many years ago. Determined to make it on her own as an independent woman, without buying into shortcuts or sacrificing the values of honesty and integrity that her mother had inculcated in her despite difficult times, she embarked upon a vigorous job hunt. Offered a position with the Mountain & Glacier Protection Organization (MGPO) Nergis relocated from Lahore to Islamabad on her own. Steadfast and dedicated, she gradually rose to the position of head of the Education, Social Mobilization & Health Department. She was posted in places such as AJ&K, KPK, Swat, and GB to manage projects there. She learned to overcome her fears and discovered herself, living in places like Askole at the base of K2 for instance.
Consultancies compose a central part of her career. In the past she has worked as program development expert at H & H Consulting Firm, a private consulting firm in Islamabad that aspires to create lasting change in society by improving productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness of the public, private and non-profit sectors. Consultancy projects she has lead include Consultancies on a wide range of issues such as gender issues, infant feeding practices, sexual and reproductive health, livelihoods as well as crèches in Pakistan. She even won an award for proposal and report writing as the lead consultant Punjab for capacity building of 22 partners of Save the Children International.
Nergis has conducted extensive research on a wide range of issues and published reports such as investigations of various facets of the SOS villages as well as a comparative study on public sector schools. She was awarded a Shield and a Certificate for outstanding performance in Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP). In 2011, she read her paper on the Socio-economic empowerment of women in the Srinagar Peace conference. In 2007, she participated as a fellow of “Making Green Pay: Designing Incentives to Support Environmental Sustainability”, at Schloss Leopoldskron.
As an expert in the field, she has also designed and conducted training programs and workshops for wide-ranging issues such as techniques for Effective Social Mobilization, teacher training, proposal writing, effective report writing, gender sensitization, monitoring, and evaluation as well as the social organization in the field. Despite her professional success, Nergis continues to be humble and believes that there is always room for self-improvement. Having dealt with many challenges, she is now proud to be building her own house in Bahria Enclave.
Misbah is a sincere, positive and energetic young woman from Peshawar, determined to channel her passion for Information Technology towards the improvement of society. She is currently working as the Project Coordinator for the KP Youth Employment Program, which has helped equip 2100 students with marketable IT skills. Before becoming the coordinator, she worked directly with the youth engaged in the program as a Co-Trainer, training students on platforms such as Fiverr and Upwork to enable them to generate online incomes. She also spoke at the 2016 KP Summit about Entrepreneurship in IT.
Misbah’s personal journey is has been closely intertwined with her career. She acquired a bachelors in Electrical Engineering from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences. After she graduated in 2014 she abandoned the idea of pursuing a career purely based on engineering, finding that the professional environment was male-dominated and discriminatory towards women. Instead, she began freelancing, eventually creating her own enterprise called Global Writing Solutions. She then decided to pursue a Masters in Business Administration from the Institute of Management Sciences, Peshawar. She is now committed to helping young people in terms of employment in the IT profession.
Sabeen is a devoted social worker, pursuing a career as a special education teacher and dedicating most of her time to working with special needs children. She provides customized creative activities for children who are otherwise neglected, mistreated and ostracized by society. She traces her passion towards the marginalized back to her childhood, when she would draw cards and sell them to family members and use the money to buy sweets for the poor children on the streets. She has always believed that any difference is worth creating, no matter how small. Her community support work includes volunteering with CARE schools, Thali and Al-Firdous Welfare Association.
Sabeen also runs a Baby and Me activity club – which encourages parents to engage their infants in a variety of activities. She also runs a blog on Facebook Kreative Kids Krafts and Kreative Minds. It is a space she created with the vision of promoting creative ideas and activities with which parents can engage their children. In parallel to this she is also doing a variety of online courses education for all disability, diversion and inclusion, autism spectrum disorder, trauma informed expressive art to name a few. She believes that creativity, art and play have the power to transform lives.
She is currently involved in a Go Green project, a multifaceted environmental endeavor that simultaneously benefits disadvantaged women working at Al-Firdous Welfare Association. The project collects cloth donations from various individuals and textile mills and gives underprivileged women the opportunity to stitch and sell them. Thus it is promoting the replacement of plastic bags in Pakistan while providing women in need with a stable method of income generation. Though Sabeen felt that she has been obstructed by the discouragement of the people around her, she has not let it deter her from giving back the community in every way that she can.
Ayesha Iftikhar is a business woman with a successful clothing store No18 in F-6 Super Market, Islamabad. She made the decision to open the store 5 years ago upon moving back to Pakistan from London. Her teenage children were the inspiration and vision behind her drive to bring western clothing options to Pakistan. She aspired to promote trendy and practical clothing and provide respite from the arduous tailor culture that most women were intertwined within. She believes that improving choices for women’s clothing is a method of liberation.
Ayesha started the business completely on her on, and gradually expanded the scale of operations. One of the major challenges she faced was to get people to accept what she was selling. Through various strategies, she was able to overcome this challenge and build a loyal consumer base. She now aims to introduce a diverse range of clothing lines so that she can cater to more people. Currently, she is planning expansion into the market in Faisalabad. Ultimately wants to begin a stitching brand, to localize production and then sell in global markets as opposed to the dominant MNC’s that are currently dominating the fashion industry. Reflectively, she feels comfortable in a female dominated industry and career path.
Sophia Pervez is a tech engineer, entrepreneur and enthusiast. She is a co founder of ClubInternet, a wildly successful platform which aspires to connect the 4.3 billion ‘unconnected’ across the globe. ClubInternet features technology that teaches the digitally illiterate how to use the internet to access information, opportunities and various other tools to improve their standards of living. ClubInternet is live in 3 countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh and Mexico – touching over 2.5 million lives, with over 500,000 active users every month. Leading innovation in the promotion of digital literacy, ClubInternet’s research has been featured on CNN as well as TechCrunch. Sophia is involved in product design and strategy, usability testing and behavior analysis to enhance user experience as well as networking and advocacy of the platform. Sophia presented the ClubInternet case study of bringing digital literacy to the masses of Pakistan at Facebook’s F8 conference in San Fransisco this year.
Sophia has also worked at IBM as a business and data analyst before taking the position of Country Sales Operations Manager there. She managed the sales operations across the various brands of the organization, along with sales initiative planning, sales report analysis for process improvement and business development. Some of the major projects she worked on include SAP Global Roll out for British American Tobacco (BAT), PTCL CRM Implementation, as well as IBM Unica, Interact implementation for Ufone.
Sophia graduated from FAST with a Bachelors degree in Telecommunications Engineering. She did not let the fact that she was playing in a male-dominated field deter her from attaining several awards for her work, including the Pakistan Mobile App Awards in 2015 as well as the Plan9 Acument Venture Fund Social Entrepreneurship Launchpad in 2014. She has been published in TechinAsia offering ‘advice for aspiring female tech entrepreneurs,’ to embrace their minority status as females in the technology industry in Pakistan and use it to their advantage.
Syeda Hifza Marij currently is working as a Key Accountant Manager at VTT Global. She is also a visionary software engineer, whose work has been recognized as being amongst the top 20 humanitarian projects around the globe; she is developing a website app “I am not alone” for the sufferers of mental illness, in Islamabad Section under the umbrella of IEEE Sight Islamabad as a volunteer.
Additionally, she is becoming a CISCO certified trainer. She has worked as a PR & Communications Manager at the Entrepreneurship Development Institute as well as Inductin’s spokesperson and successfully played an important part in organizing many of company’s events. Marij graduated with a Software Engineering degree from Fatima Jinnah Women University. While studying there she was a founder and chairperson of the university’s IEEE student branch. During her student life, she represented as an Ambassador to many Technical and Non-Technical Events for e.g: Pakistan Student Computer Society Congress’16 and IEEE Pakistan Students / Young Professionals / Women in Engineering Congress in 2015. She was also a key organizer and sponsorship committee member of an International Conference on Emerging trends in Science and Technology 2016.
Her other experience includes representing Scene Sheen as a Public Relations /Communications specialist, a JAVA development internship at PTCL, making various websites and also working as Microsoft Student Partner at Microsoft North Region Islamabad. She has attended several workshops on Application Development on various platforms as well as on the cloud. For example, CPD Workshop on “Software Defined Networks and Information Security Challenges,” “Future of Parallel Processing in IT industry” and the “Secrets to Management in Engineering.” She also attended IEEE Pakistan Student Young professionals Congress 2015.
In addition, her versatility is demonstrated by the fact that Marij is a public motivational speaker, a blogger and a professional writer as well.
Shawana Shah won the International Humanitarian Award in 2016 in USA for her commitment towards the promotion of the social, economic and political empowerment of women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. She co-founded an organization Da Hawwa Lur which provides free legal and psychological support to the victims of gender based violence. The organization is geared towards empowering women in rural communities by involving them in local decision making as well as by providing information and council to both men and women regarding pro-women laws, prevention of gender based violence and service providers in the region.
Shahwana has also been striving towards policy reforms for informal home-based employment. She established the first Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Working Women Union. This platform is struggling for legislative and policy reforms that consider the rights of domestic workers and has 300 registered female home-based workers as members. Between 2008-2009 she even organized a Peace Campaign which constituted a mixture of peace dialogues, peace walks, and inter-faith harmony events to promote pluralism and harmony.
Nafeesa Mazhar became the first ever volunteer from the region to be selected for ‘IEEE Meritorious Achievement Award in informal education’ by IEEE Education Activities Board in 2016. She joined the local student branch of IEEE in 2008 and organized technical activities at the local, provincial and national level. By 2011 she began leading the IEEE WIE Affinity Group of her campus. She also headed the ‘IEEE Pakistan Mission to Progress’, a national project by IEEE Pakistan WIE Forum (PWF) which was meant to motivate girls of underprivileged schools in the STEM and to have an analysis of professional interest areas, industrial consumption and goals of female graduates in technical fields. As a team leader, she launched various initiatives including iUstaad (a female teachers training ICT program), cybertahaffuz (a program on cyber ethics), workathon 7.0 (a program to increase technical workshops quality.)
Nafeesa received the BS (hons.) Bioinformatics degree in 2012 from Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan. She started her career with ZAN Solutions company, one of the top digital marketing agencies in Pakistan and Dubai, as an SEO content marketer. Currently, she owns a digital business that provides digital business solutions to startups as well as small and medium scale companies in different countries.
In an effort to raise awareness of digital employment opportunities, Nafeesa organized a national camp named ‘9 hours of extreme freelancing’ which was attended by 100+ students from 18 different cities of Pakistan. Furthermore, she organized many tech talks, motivational sessions, panel discussions, as well as community outreach tours to promote STEM education among pre-university and university students, professionals, and differently-abled ones.
She also volunteered as a moderator and coordinator with The Citizens Foundation, where she tried to empower rural secondary school girls with digital literacy. The campaign engaged 7+ teachers, 300+ university students, 25+ young entrepreneurs, and 100+ interested to be digital nomads for technical, personal, moral and professional development. She now hopes to promote digital literacy among women and disabled people in Pakistan.
Maria Rana is both a writer and an entrepreneur, who creatively managed to channel her love for literature and writing into a highly profitable online business, exclusively serving an International clientele. She is passionate about female empowerment and hopes to inspire young girls and women to become the best versions of themselves and gain emotional, financial and psychological freedom.
Belonging to a family from a small village in Punjab, the concept of a girl pursuing higher education or a career path was an alien one in her household. She fought against the odds and became the first in her family to move away from home to get a higher education. Upon returning home after graduation, she was again faced with the restraints imposed upon her mobility and her ability to socialize and network. She circumvented these restraints through navigating cyberspace. She started with freelancing but eventually moved on to online entrepreneurship.
Not allowing her mind to be weighed down by the doubts that pervaded it, she decided to embark upon a venture of her own, rather than working for someone else. She started really small and remained persistent despite getting scammed and belittled several times, in her determination to succeed. Today she is the proud owner of her own digi-world, working with clients around the globe. In less than 2 years, she has been able to successfully build a 6-figure online business as an Entrepreneur, writing content for businesses in the US and facilitating high-end launches bringing in over $100K with a small audience for her clients.
Ayesha Aftab is a bright, energetic and well rounded professional who has been taking up prominent project management positions with various companies in the tech industry for several years. Ayesha has been working as a project manager for Microsoft since 2014. She has also held similar positions with Ciklum, DPL and iEngineering in the past.
She possesses admirable leadership qualities, such as strong interpersonal skills, a unique capacity for empathy and analytical skills that make her stand apart from other resources. These qualities most notably translate into her ability to motivate a team to care about its project and be invested in the project’s success. She is thus considered one of those rare managers who also naturally serves as an inspiring mentor for the whole staff. She is a good team player and manages her team well, absorbing pressure from the top so that her team can work in a tension-free environment. She also excels at conflict resolution and problem-solving.
As an outspoken woman with a bold personality and a fierce belief in women empowerment, she has often had to face skepticism by her male peers as well as resistance from society at large. However, she is proud of having been able to break out of the traditional role of females in her circles, live independently and even prove her worth in the male-dominated tech industry. She is grateful to her parents for having been protective of their daughters right to be independent and live their lives according to their own values and ideals, without pressurizing them to conform to the status quo.
Ayesha graduated from the National University of Computer and Emerging Sciences in 2004 and started off her professional career in the quality assurance department of Geopaq Technologies as Testing Team Lead. This background in the software industry gave her an edge when she progressed on to project management. It aided her greatly in polishing her requirement analysis skills and she has used this skill efficiently during her estimations of Tasks/Iterations/Sprints. Her knowledge and devotion for Quality and Process Improvement are also remarkable.
Ayesha has also been involved in community work, tutoring students in need, volunteering in underprivileged schools in Islamabad as well as starting a cleanup campaign in Islamabad where a team of volunteers would visit public places to clean them and thus let our actions speak for ourselves.
Seemeen Ejaz is an intelligent, strong and motivated young woman, belonging to a military family that placed an emphasis on education. Her mother began encouraging her to read when she was really young, and her father supported her desire to pursue a technology related career path. With their encouragement and support, she completed her pre-engineering before acquiring a degree from NUCES (FAST) University in Computer Science.
In 2004, Seemeen started her first job with Digital Processing Systems, as an offshore resource for Verizon, US. After holding the job for 2 and half years she moved on to working with Enterprise DB for a period of 10 months. What she considers her most important and formative job, however, was with LMK Resouces, where she worked as an offshore resource for Landmark Graphics, a subsidiary of Halliburton USA.
She is now working for Inbox Business Technologies; a company that specializes in system integration. She is heading the department for Digital Content, a new department that was established upon her initiative to streamline content for clients and customers. Her job entails a substantial amount of research and as such a combination of business and communication skills as well as a technological background. As a woman in the tech industry, she has often faced the challenge of not being taken seriously by male coworkers and superiors. She believes that diligent work, as well as the right kind of attitude, has allowed her to overcome this challenge and assert herself.
Ghazal Naqvi comes from an educated family that expected her to pursue higher studies; with their support she completed a Masters Degree in Urdu Literature from the University of Punjab in 1978. She got married almost immediately after graduation, and soon after had a son and a daughter. She was determined to pursue a career in teaching, despite the challenges associated with dual working parent households, and her husband supported her ambitions. Thus when her children reached school going age, she began pursuing her career full throttle. She specialized in working with hearing impaired children and received training in sign language from the Government National Institute of Special Education.
After completing her training, she began working at a special school for hearing impaired children in H-9 and with the support of helpful peers and family she quickly rose up the ranks and became a senior teacher. With direction and sponsorship, she cleared her FPSC exam and got promoted to Vice Principal. This career in special education gave her exposure and learning into all kinds of human physical and mental disabilities. She made sure to introduce this new world to her children who appreciated and actively participated in her career journey whenever possible.
After 25 years of experience, she left her position and began working with several welfare groups on a pro bono basis so as to reach a larger number of people. She also had more time to dedicate to various causes since her children were grown up; she now spends time at old peoples homes, teaching people the importance of organic farming, working with owners of different shelter homes and much more.
She is an advocate for the notion that women should not let the fact that they have families to care for derail them from their careers, though balancing both may require some persistence. She believes that it is important for women to pursue careers because it builds confidence, a sense of self-worth and improves decision-making skills. Rather than necessarily having a negative impact on one’s family, progressive and competent women can often better guide their children and positively mold future generations. Lastly, it gives one’s family a financial edge in an increasingly competitive world.
Ms. Farhat Asif is President of the Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies, where she notably took the initiative of establishing a “Centre for Women Peace and Security Pakistan” in 2015. She did this with the aid of Mrs. Tawakkol Karman, Honorable Noble Peace Laureate, who was visiting Pakistan to participate in the “Emerging Young Women Leaders Congress” that the institute was hosting. The center was created with the vision of bringing together all the work done by the women rights activists to one platform which would provide training and academic degree awards to women.
As a woman from a marginalized region of Kashmir, Farhat struggled to prove herself academically and professionally in a place where opportunities were lacking and the role of a woman was culturally tied to the home. Perhaps owing to this background, she is dedicated towards the cause of providing women opportunities to grow and prosper, so that they can develop constructive and positive roles in society. Similarly, her commitment towards conflict resolution and the promotion of peace can also be attributed to her background.
Farhat has thirteen years of experience working in as a researcher, analyst, writer, publisher, media planner and diplomatic relations professional. She is the founding Editor of Pakistan’s Premier multilingual magazine The Diplomatic Insight, publishing since 2009 with the thematic objective of promoting peace through informed Dialogue. She is now completing her Ph.D. from School of Politics and International Relations, Quaid-I-Azam University, Islamabad.
In the past, Farhat has worked for Islamabad Policy Research Institute as Research Fellow for three years and presented papers on various subjects at both the national and international level. She is also a federal member of Aman-o-Nisa: Pakistan Women’s Coalition Against Extremism and is Pakistan’s representative of “Sisters Against Violent Extremism (SAVE), a project by Women Without Borders. She has also been invited by Ambassador Swanee Hunt at the Institute for Inclusive Security as one of 12 influential Pakistani women leaders.
Afshan Tehseen is an experienced development practitioner, passionate about improving the state of education and child protection in Pakistan. As a woman belonging to a conservative rural background, Afshan struggled against gender norms and practices to complete her education and join the workforce. Despite the odds being stacked against her, she has now been working on community development on multiple fronts for 18 years, with organizations including NRSP, ActionAid, Save the Children and Unicef. Much of her work has been focused on community mobilization; awareness raising, linkages development and networking, training, health and hygiene, child protection, non-formal education, capacity building, conflict resolution and women empowerment. She even led the consultative process of child protection policy in Punjab.
It was the initial years of her career that she found most challenging, confounded with new practical realities she was exposed to in her personal and professional life. In addition to proving herself and her worth in the workplace, Afshan had to cope with the death of her father, and as the eldest child bore the burden of supporting her family. She attributes her professional success to education as well as handwork and perseverance. At the stage of life, she has now reached, Afshan considers it a social and moral obligation to share her experiences, knowledge, and skills with the burgeoning youth.
Afshan believes that education is a fundamental right of every child, irrespective of class, culture, creed, sect, religion, etc and is cognizant of the need to invest in the youth for a better tomorrow. She was recently invited as a guest speaker on the issue of education on Neo TV with Anchor person Mr. Oriya Jan Maqbool. She now wants to inspire the youth, especially girls, to believe in themselves and have the confidence to go after their dreams and challenge the status quo. With experience working as a trainer on various thematic subjects such as Gender and Development, Child Right and Child Protection, she is equipped to create a positive impact on young minds. She is also enthusiastic about complementing their theoretical learning with the lessons she has gained from her professional career. She is a founding member and Board Director of Human Resource Development Network, with chapters in different countries.
Sehrish Qamar is an energetic and impassioned woman from Azad Jammu & Kashmir, with a wildly successful political career. She got married soon after completing her bachelors in Microbiology from Government College University in Lahore, and though she did not pursue a career in a relevant field, she considers her education as the reason for her success.
Though already a mother when she began pursuing her political career, Sehrish was able to attain the position of MLA, admirably becoming the youngest parliamentarian of AJK. Sehrish is an ardent social worker and has done exemplary work in improving the state of primary schools in the region, guided by the greater ambition of ensuring that every girl has access to basic education facilities. She now chairs the standing committee of women development, Industries, tevta, social welfare and AKMIDC.
Nafeesa Inayatullah Khan Khattak is a parliamentarian from Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, representing Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in the National Assembly. She is also the president and Secretary General of PTI’s Women’s Wing in Islamabad.
Nafeesa considers overcoming the negative stigma attached to a political career amongst her greatest challenges. As a single widow, she struggled to establish a name for herself in the political arena, one that was not tarnished by her career but instead built upon dignity and respect. She considers it an important achievement that she has been able to establish herself as a role model, inspiring other individuals, particularly women, to join political life.
She is passionate about education, particularly primary and secondary because she believes in the importance of giving children a solid foundation from which to pursue various life paths, even if that is not necessarily higher education.
Ms. Nargis Ghaloo is the Secretary for Capital Administration and Development Division. She is an Officer of the Federal Government and has held many diverse positions which include Additional Secretary Cabinet Division, DG President Secretariat, Secretary Women Development and Executive Director State Life Insurance Corporation of Pakistan.
Ms. Ghaloo completed her Masters (M.A) in English from the University of Sindh in 1981 and cleared the competitive examination in 1982 and went on to join the Civil Services in the same year. She has extensively attended local and international professional training courses, workshops, seminars and conferences.
Nargis Ghaloo has vast professional experience in senior management positions with provincial as well as Federal Government Departments in diversified fields such as public sector management, administration, financial, judicial, health, insurance and planning etc. She also holds Directorship on the Board of several Public & Private Sector Companies.
Over the years, Ms Ghaloo has participated in prestige courses such as “Negotiation and Dispute Resolution Workshop” Singapore, in 1992, “Executive Leadership Development Program” at John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, in 2005, “National Management Course” at National Management College Lahore, in 2009, “Public Sector Administration and Financial Management” at Singapore, in 2014. She is a Certified Director from Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance (PICG) and has also attained Certificate in Company Direction from Institute of Directors, U.K.
Nazia Hamid has done her MBA from London Business School, with professional experience spanning over 12 years, gained in UAE, UK, South Africa and Pakistan with an insight to help individuals embrace new challenges. She is certified in wealth and Investment Management and is currently engagement at a Private Equity firm based in Dubai. Communication Audit, Management Analysis, Training, Coaching and Mentoring are her key skills. Nazia has been associated with TIE | WECREATE center as certified Master Mentor/TTT since, 2014. She is also a Youth mentor at Injaz UAE. As a hobby, Miss. Hamid writes blogs for Dubair Social Diaries.
Nazia firmly believes in supporting and enabling creative entrepreneurs to build a more substantial ecosystem which she links with opportunities of quality education as her passion and experience are majorly linked with the education sectors across UAE and Pakistan. She aspires to spark economic growth and positive cultural change by engaging, educating, and empowering young entrepreneurs, students and associates. Her strong commitment to the cause upheld by PAGE and her desire to contribute for bringing a better system allowing girls to identify their potentials, gain education and utilize their energies for a better functioning and prospering society is of great value to PAGE. We wholeheartedly welcome Nazia on our team and hope to work together for a better Pakistan of empowered women!
With a passion for empowering the women of Pakistan, Sumera heads WECREATE, Pakistan’s first and only women entrepreneurship center, aiming to revolutionise women. Having a background in business studies in IT, from the Curtin University of Technology, Australia, being an alumnus of the US State Department’s International Visitors’ Leadership Program (IVLP) ‘Women in Entrepreneurship’, with an extensive experience in the corporate and development sector, from program management to capacity building training, Sumera now works towards providing women entrepreneurs mentoring, business connections, specialised training, connections to the community, media attention, access to markets and capital along with the technical tools and resources necessary for taking any business to the next level.
Raising her children as a single parent Sumeera realizes the potential problems women face in the society and her strong desire to assist and empower them is of great value to a cause like PAGE. We welcome her on our team and hope that together we can work towards empowering and educating the women of Pakistan.
Your greatness is not what you have. It’s what you give.