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Breaking Barriers: The Most Prominent Female Figures In the History Of Pakistan

Pakistan has a rich history of heroes but women are not left behind who have made a lasting impact in various fields. They have defied societal norms and fought against the odds to pave the way for future generations. Pakistani women have left an indelible mark on the nation’s history, from politics to literature, sports to entertainment. Despite the daily challenges women face in Pakistan, these trailblazing women have served as role models and an inspiration to many.

In the spirit of Women’s Day, we will look at some of the most influential Pakistani women who have broken barriers and shattered glass ceilings, leaving a lasting legacy for generations.

Fatima Jinnah

The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah’s sister, played a significant role in the Pakistan Movement and advocated for women’s rights.

Benazir Bhutto

Pakistan’s first female prime minister, serving two non-consecutive terms (1988 – 1990) and (1993 to 1996). She was a prominent political figure and a leading advocate for democracy and women’s rights.

Malala Yousafzai

Human rights activist and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate, she became a global icon for women’s education after surviving an assassination attempt by the Taliban.

Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan

Wife of Pakistan’s first prime minister, Liaquat Ali Khan was a leading social worker and actively promoted women’s education and health.

Asma Jahangir

Asma Jahangir was a prominent human rights lawyer and activist. She was a prominent advocate for human rights in Pakistan and made history She made history by becoming the country’s first-ever female President of the Supreme Court Bar Association, and a prominent human rights lawyer and activist. 

Fatima Sughra

Fatima Sughra was a leading activist during the Pakistan Movement. She was a Women’s National Guard member and played an important role in the Lahore Resolution of 1940.

Mukhtar Mai

Mukhtar Mai is a women’s rights activist who gained international attention after she was gang-raped in 2002. She fought for justice and became an advocate for women’s rights in Pakistan.

Fatima Surayya Bajia

Bajia was a Pakistani novelist, playwright, and television writer. She wrote numerous books and plays in Urdu and significantly promoted women’s rights and social justice in Pakistan.

Zahida Hina

Zahida Hina was a renowned Urdu writer and journalist. She wrote about social issues and women’s rights in her work and was awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz for her contributions to literature.

Bilquis Edhi

Bilquis Edhi is a philanthropist and the wife of Abdul Sattar Edhi, the founder of the Edhi Foundation, one of Pakistan’s largest charity organizations. She played an important role in running the foundation and was actively involved in helping women and children.

Kishwar Naheed

A feminist poet and activist, Kishwar Naheed has written extensively on women’s issues and gender equality in Pakistan and has received numerous national and international awards for her contributions to literature.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

A two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has highlighted important social issues in Pakistan through her documentaries, including violence against women and girls.

Ayesha Jalal

A renowned historian, Ayesha Jalal has written extensively on the history of Pakistan and its relationship with India, and her work has contributed significantly to the understanding of the region’s history.

Abida Parveen

Parveen is a renowned Pakistani singer and one of the most famous Sufi musicians in the world. She has been praised for her unique style and has received numerous awards and honors for her contributions to Pakistani music.

Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan

Tahira Mazhar Ali Khan was a prominent scholar and academic in Pakistan. She was the first woman to serve as the Vice-Chancellor of a Pakistani university and played a significant role in developing higher education in Pakistan.

Asma Kazi

Kazi was a leading activist in the feminist movement in Pakistan. She founded the Women’s Action Forum (WAF) and played a significant role in organizing protests against discriminatory laws and practices in Pakistan.


As we continue to celebrate the accomplishments of Pakistani women, it is essential to recognize that there is still a long way to go in achieving gender equality. The struggle for women’s rights and empowerment continues, and we must continue supporting and uplifting women’s voices in our communities.

There is definitely a long list and we can’t cover them all, here are few more…

  1. Begum Shahnawaz
  2. Jehan Ara
  3. Amina Jilani
  4. Hina Jilani
  5. Fehmida Mirza
  6. Sabeen Mahmud
  7. Samina Baig
  8. Shabana Basij-Rasikh
  9. Nazia Hassan
  10. Rabia Garib
  11. Salaina Haroon
  12. Roshaneh Zafar
  13. Kalsoom Lakhani
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