Pictured below are three extraordinary women.
*Benazir Bhutto, former Prime Minister of Pakistan is in the portraits within the photograph. She was the first democratically elected female president of a Muslim country. She was assassinated in 2007. She spoke openly about the challenges of balancing family and work life and supported mothers and families in her initiatives.
*Bakhtawar Zardari, pictured below, was born at the Lady Dufferin Hospital in Karachi, in January 1990. She is the eldest daughter of the first female prime minister of Pakistan and the Muslim world, Benazir Bhutto. I was also born at that maternity hospital which is a historic structure, built in the 1890s under British colonization. What distinguishes the hospital today is that it takes all patients, irrespective of financial status. Secondary to the murder of her mother, Bakhtawar stays out of the political arena, but is an activist and chairperson of an organization that funds education in science and technology for women.
*This week, wishing a happy 25th birthday to Malala Yousafzai. The Pakistani girls’ education activist, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban ten years ago, became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate in history at the age of 17. In 2020, Malala graduated from Oxford University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics. Today, she continues her work of breaking down barriers to education for girls around the world through her non-profit organization, the Malala Fund.
Education, work life balance, career goals, parenting.
It shouldn’t be a life-threatening endeavor.
(Note: The maternity hospital, where I was also born, was built by the wife of the British viceroy in Karachi, 1892, because women were dying trying to give birth at home for lack of woman-centric treatment. Reproductive safety, also a life-threatening endeavor, universally).