The founder of our nation, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, had once said “No nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you.” Today, on the 69th birth anniversary of Pakistan, we bring to you the story of 5 uneducated women that are making us proud!
These women might be uneducated – but they continue to be the sole providers of their families and great contributors to humanity. After all, Oscar Wilde said it best – “Education is an admirable thing, but it’s well toÂ rememberÂ from time to time that nothing that’s worth learning can be taught.”
In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brotherâ€™s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courtsâ€”making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtar, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. Her story, included in the bestseller â€œHalf the Skyâ€ by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the subject of Mukhtarâ€™s own memoir, â€œIn the Name of Honorâ€, has inspired women across the globe.
Today Mai runs an organization that seeks to eliminate such gory practices by inducing societal change.
2. Zahida Kazmi
Zahida Kazmi has been hailed as Pakistan’s first female taxi driver. She has driven from the crowded markets of Islamabad to the remote tribal country in the north. In 1992 at the age of 33, newly widowed Zahida Kazmi decided to take her fate in her own hands and became a taxi driver.
3. Bilquis Edhi
It is true, as the saying goes: â€œThere is a woman behind every manâ€. Bilquis Edhi is a woman of substance, for sure; and she has come a long way with Edhi for a cause that is simply great.
Bilquis Bano Edhi, wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi, is a humanitarian, a social worker and one of the most active philanthropists in Pakistan. She was born on August 14, 1947 in Karachi. She heads the Bilquis Edhi Foundation, holds the honor of being awarded the prestigious â€˜Hilal-e-Imtiazâ€™, and with her husband received the â€˜1986 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Public Serviceâ€™. She is also the recipient of the â€˜Lenin Peace Prizeâ€™. Her charity runs many services in Pakistan including a hospital and emergency service in Karachi.
At the age of 17, she married Abdul Sattar Edhi and since then, both of them have been committed in ‘making aÂ differenceÂ andÂ changing lives forever,’Â which has been their motto since the first day of their resolve to help those in need.
4. Parveen Saeed
A truly noble cause of providing poor families a decent meal in honorable manner is what ‘Khana Ghar’ (loosely translated as Food House) all about. The brainchild of a simple, down-to-earth social worker, Parveen Saeed, this facility provides meals to poor families at unbelievably low price – yet not free. The logic behind subsidizing it to near-zero (but not zero) price is amazing in itself. Parveen Saeed believes that poor person’s integrity remains intact if he or she is paying for it. The quality of food is of any local hotel and is open to all.
She has slowly expanded the operations and is trying to help more and more people through this innovative venture. Khana Ghar provides food in low-income areas to families as well as day laborers who find it a dignified manner of combating hunger.
Â 5. Ghulam Sughra Solangi