Dr. Salima Raisuddin Ahmed
– for her meritorious services as Accountant General East Pakistan as well as Federal Secretary and her numerous services as a committed social worker who founded Pakistan Federation of Business & Professional Women’s Organization in 1954 and continues to run the organization.
Farida Kokikhel Afridi
– for being an outspoken women’s rights activist belonging to the highly conservative FATA region who with the support of her parents completed her Masters degree in gender studies and later on founded SAWERA, a women-run NGO promoting women’s empowerment in FATA. She was killed by unknown assailants in 2012 while on her way to work.
Princess Sarvath El Hassan
– for being the only Pakistani woman to marry in a royal family and served as Crown Princess for 30 years. Sarvath, daughter of Shaista Ikramullah married Prince Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan in Karachi in 1968. She initiated, sponsored and continues to support many projects and activities in Jordan, mainly in the field of education, in addition to issues pertaining to women and the family, social welfare and health. Much of her work focuses on promoting education about various topics (both locally and internationally), assisting disadvantaged women, encouraging community service and helping people with mental and learning disabilities
– for being the first Pakistani Astronaut. Namira is the first Pakistani to have reached the North Pole in April 2007 and the South Pole in January 2008. She also holds the distinction of being the first Asian and first Pakistani to skydive over Mount Everest during the historic First Everest Skydives 2008.Namira, being the only Pakistani member of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the world’s first commercial space liner, is widely known as the first Pakistani to travel into space. She was short-listed among 100 space tourists in 2005 out of 44,000 candidates and launched personally to the world press by Sir Richard Branson himself in March 2006.Subsequently, in August 2006, the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting of the Government of Pakistan officially launched Namira as the “First Pakistani Astronaut” who has said she hopes her achievements are an inspiration for Pakistani women.
– for being the first Pakistani woman to obtain Commercial Pilot Licence (CPL). She joined PIA as Ground Instructor and there for a number of years she taught CPL ground course subjects to Cadet Pilots
Lady Viqarunnisa ‘Vicky’ Noon
– for her lifelong contributions to Pakistani society as a social worker. Lady Noon was the wife of the seventh Prime Minister of Pakistan, Feroz Khan Noon. Following the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and the mass transfer of people across the border, she engaged in ameliorating the refugee crisis, lending assistance to various refugee camps and committees. She was involved with the Red Cross and engaged herself in local social work. She helped found Viqar un Nisa College for Women, Rawalpindi, Pakistan and the Viqarunnisa Noon School, a famous school for girls in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She remained a senior and executive member of organisations such as the Family Planning Association of Pakistan, Pakistan Red Crescent Society, the National Crafts Council of Pakistan and others. For a brief while, she also served as Federal Minister for Tourism and Culture.
– for being an internationally acclaimed Pakistani fiction writer in English. Her first novel was published when she was 25. Her novels have been selected for prestigious awards like John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in the UK andOrange Prize for Fiction. . She is also a reviewer and columnist – primarily for The Guardian – and has been a judge for several literary awards, including the Orange Award for New Writers and the Guardian First Book Award.
– for being a critically acclaimed and award wininng Pakistani writer in English striving above all to bring women’s issues of the Indian subcontinent into public discussion. Sidhwa has received numerous literary awards both in the U.S. and abroad. In 1987 she was awarded both a Bunting Fellowship at Radcliffe\Harvard and a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts that allowed her to finish Cracking India. In 1991 Sidhwa received the Sitara-i-Imitaz, Pakistan’s highest national honor in the arts, along with the Liberaturepreis in Germany. She has taught at the University of Houston, Rice University, Columbia University, Mount Holyoke College, and Brandeis University.
– for being the first woman to start her own television channel in Pakistan. She started her career as a Producer with Pakistan Television where she earned a name for herself for porducing memorable music programs as well as teleplays and serials. Her forte and passion have always been dedicated to bringing public awareness to social issues, such as female empowerment, and eradication of social vices such as promotion of female education.
– for being the first Pakistani and only Muslim woman in the New South Wales State Parliament. Faruqi studied at the University of Engineering and Technology in Lahore, Pakistan and worked as a consultant in Pakistan before moving to Sydney in 1992. She received a Masters and a PhD in Environmental Engineering from the University of New South Wales.
She joined the Greens in 2004 and ran as a candidate for the Legislative Assembly in 2011 and again in a by-election in 2012. She was chosen to replace another member in 2013, becoming the first Muslim woman to be a member of any Australian parliament.In parliament, Dr Faruqi has carriage of the following portfolios for The Greens NSW: Animal Welfare, Environment, Healthy Lifestyles, Marine Environment & Fisheries, Multiculturalism, Roads & Ports, Sexuality & Gender Identity, Status of Women, Transport, and Young People.
Hina Rabbani Khar
– for being the first woman and the youngest ever person to become Pakistan’s Foreign Minister. A graduate of LUMS and University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the United States, Khar came to national prominence in the national political arena through Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz in 2004, who appointed her to the Finance Ministry. Later she ran for national assembly seat and joined Parliament. Prior to becoming Foreign Minister, Khar had served as Minister of State for Economic Affairs and Minister of State for Foreign Affairs. With her elevation as Foreign Minister in 2008 at the age of 31, she became the youngest person and the only woman to assume that responsibility.
– for being a prominent female entrepreneur and trendsetter in the food and hospitality sector in Pakistan whose business has been recognized amongst the 100 Fastest Growing Companies at the Arabia500 summit this year. She launched Copper Kettle Cafe in 1993 and following the raging success of its desserts, Nilofer Saeed launched the Hobnob Bakery chain. Today thirteen Hobnob bakeries are operational across Karachi. A true leader and innovator, Nilofer Saeed’s business has now expanded to include N’eco’s Natural Store & Café, the first outlet in Pakistan to offer a wide range of organic, natural, herbal and social enterprise goods.Nilofer Saeed is the first female member of the board of directors of The Citizens Foundation (TCF), the leading non-profit organization working in the field of education in Pakistan.
– for being one of the top economists working as a Senior Director, Gender Parity, Human Capital and Constituents, World Economic Forum. She is responsible for engaging women leaders, gender parity groups, religious leaders, NGOs and labor leaders. She is also co-author of the Forum’s “Global Gender Gap Report,” a benchmark in global research on the gap in parity between women and men.
– for being the first woman to appear on Pakistan Television when it was launched in November 1964. A senior broadcaster, newsreader and actress, her career spans over five decades.
Anita Ghulam Ali, – for being a proverbial name in education who fought for teachers’ rights and raised a generation of sensitive, thinking individuals and conscientious citizens
Diep Saeeda, – for fearlessly fighting bigotry, extremism and persecution of the poor and helpless by always taking the front lead; for her exemplary courage and valor
– for being a leading human rights activist and politician from the conservative Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and for championing the cause of women inside and outside parliament
Mahtab Akbar Rashdi
– for her services to culture and art specially in Sindh where she served as Secretary Culture as well as Director Institute of Sindhology and also served as a leading media personality
– for being an icon of light classical singing. Her forte was thumri and dadra although she mastered the art of ghazal singing. She was totally imbued with classical music and her renditions of ghazals and geets reflected her intensive training. Iqbal Bano was one of the most admired and respected light classical singers in Pakistan.
For her life-long services to education, women’s rights and promotion of peace and democracy. She is one of the founding members of Women’s Action Forum and has taken part in many peace initiatives between Pakistan and India. She designed a peace curriculum currently used in 90 schools across Pakistan and coordinated global classroom projects with 20 schools in Pakistan and India, to promote better understanding between the two countries.