Women Who Inspire

Stories of hope, courage and triumph against all odds

Over the last 100 years, the role and rights of women have changed beyond all recognition. But, one thing that has stayed constant is the sheer number of awe-inspiring women that exist all over the world. And what better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than to reflect on the women who inspire us every day? To commemorate the event, MAG collaborated with women who have challenged, shaped and smashed the status quo. Ladies, prepare for a healthy dose of #inspo.

Tehmina Khaled

The influence of the editor is undeniable. She brings forward a new and unique vision, increases a publication's circulation, and expands its business reach. As editors and writers, women have impacted fashion, and their influence can reach a global scale – through their opinions, their sharp eyes, and even a little controversy. Tehmina khaled, a lady who left a mark on the fashion industry, has two decades of experience in the field of print and fashion journalism and has worked as the Head of the Creative and Editorial team for one of the largest media group in Pakistan, Jang Group of Publications. Currently running her own PR and media and consulting firm, she has developed a name for herself and has been at the helm of some of the noteworthy campaigns.

Talking about International Women’s Day, Tehmina says, “It gives me immense pride to do this Women's Day shoot with MAG, a publication that I was associated with for 18 years. Showcasing female representation in all its glory and power has always been a pillar for me in my career, be it as a journalist or a publicist. Academically trained as a lawyer, I practiced journalism at this very publication and then grew to launching my own business, Take II Public Relations which has grown and made its own place in the industry today. Womanhood is an external and internal source of strength, warmth and ferocity. The complex web of emotions that we as women carry has been woven by our very nature and empowers us by to carry ourselves through life with grace. I credit my success to God and my inward strength, one that exists within every woman.”

Ayesha Tammy Haq

Despite the fact that law is a male dominating field in Pakistan, the legal profession is full of trailblasing female attorneys who are passionate about serving their clients and staying on top of their game. In a world full of injustices, they are fierce in their commitment to public service and pro bono causes. For these women, balance is an essential part of life: juggling distinguished careers, family, and philanthropic activities. Ayesha Tammy Haq is one such dedicated, gifted and determined advocate. With degrees in law, Haq is a Barrister-at-Law, a media personality and more recently, a corporate executive. She has practiced law in the UK, Pakistan, the Philippines and the USA and has worked on several international projects. She has been a member of the Vision 2020 Think Tank of the government of Pakistan. She has worked on policy and governance matters. She sits on various boards and is involved with several charitable institutions. She has been the CEO of Fashion Pakistan and organised Pakistan’s first ever fashion week in 2009. Her efforts to put Pakistan on the global fashion map got her profiled in the September 2010 edition of US Vogue. At the present time, she heads the Pharma Bureau, the association of the research based multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in Pakistan.

Her statement on International Women’s Day read as, “Wishing you all a very happy Women’s Day 2021. Thank you to each and everyone of you for doing what you do to make this a better world for all. Today, as we celebrate the achievements of women and girls everywhere, let us recommit to a world in which everyone has an equal chance to succeed.”

Dr Shaista Lodhi

Shaista Lodhi’s versatility is unquestionable. If we trace her journey, she has an impressive working experience in the field of hosting, acting as well as aesthetics. Dr Shaista Lodhi, working as a renowned aesthetic physician, has not only proved her mettle in entertainment but in facial/body aesthetics as well. The Karachi-based aesthete has three clinics in different parts of the city: Defense Housing Authority (DHA), Tariq Road, and North Nazimabad. Also, 95 per cent of her staff, in all her clinics, is women. She has appointed mostly women in her clinics as she supports the idea of a working woman and believes in empowering women. Lodhi has pioneered morning shows, and is currently working in a drama as well. In the entertainment industry, she started her career from radio while she was studying to manage her college fees. She, a mother of three, has decidedly gone through a lot in her life, but never enough to discompose her for she has always been there for her kids and her family all the while as she stood by herself firmly through all ordeals. Lodhi is also venturing into philanthropy, as her newly established clinic in North Nazimabad isn’t just aesthetics facility but a proper medical center, where she conducts several free medical camps for women. Now this is what we call a female powerhouse.

Anum Fayyaz

Stardom isn't just about worldwide adulation and designer clothes – it also gives celebrities a chance to use their global platform for good. Feminism and gender equality have become trending topics in the entertainment industry over the past few years, thanks to the #MeToo movement, with scores of female stars opening up about their experiences in order to create a positive dialogue – one that's arguably had a knock-on impact in inspiring other women around the world to join them in speaking out.

One of the many female stars that inspire us is model and actress Anum Fayyaz. Fayyaz is rightly celebrated for her screen career. Who knew that the girl whose career took off with her participation in a dance show would eventually end up portraying challenging roles in TV dramas like Intezaar, Pachtawa and Zard Mausam to name a few. But she’s also a force to be reckoned with behind the camera. A major devotee of women empowerment, the starlet believes that though it's great to spend time celebrating IWD, it's equally important to spend the day recognising the many issues still facing women. Domestic violence, harassment, lack of representation on-screen as well as off-screen, these are just a few of the hot topics worth discussing, and she has always been one to have joined in on the conversation and champion womanhood.

Anisa And Amina Rashid Khan

This International Women’s Day, we would also like to raise a toast to the empowerment and diversity in the events industry. This industry represents some of the brightest minds that are renowned for their own contributions and the work they are doing. Many female event planners have changed the face of the events industry over the past years. Two such women in the field of event management are Anisa and Amina Rashid Khan, the mother daughter duo behind RAKA, a women-owned and operated, full-service event management enterprise. These women have brought fresh, innovative creations to the event management industry and have made dreams come true for a variety of people around the world. They have successfully built a career, boosted confidence and embraced the highs and lows of their jobs.

Anisa, a pioneer in the field, started the business over 25 years ago, when there were hardly any other players in the space. Since then, Amina has joined the business, and it has grown to be one of the most well-known event management companies in the country.

Whilst striving for growth and success in their own field, the RAKA team has also focused on women’s empowerment by supporting other women-owned businesses, ranging from small, home-based operations to large restaurants and other suppliers. Although, they have a large roster of vendors, some of their go-to suppliers are women-owned businesses.

In an exclusive chat with MAG, highlighting the International Women’s Day, the duo adds that, “Women, especially in Pakistan, should strive for social and economic empowerment, via education and financial independence, as a first step towards gender parity.”

Rozina Munib

Designers are the celebrities of the fashion industry. They channel their visions into namesake lines, revive old houses, and build total lifestyle brands. These power women create designs that change fashion and influence us. One such fashion designer is Rozina Munib, a fabulous, influential woman who is paving the way for a fashion industry that’s truly for women, by women. Rozina Munib is a fashion designer based in Pakistan whose forte is luxury pret. Keeping the classics alive, she blends the trends into the Eastern aesthetics and serves an elite lifestyle.

With respect to Women’s Day, Rozina has a slightly different take on the day that celebrates femininity and empowerment. She says, “In today's world of equality, I do not believe that Women’s Day should be entirely dedicated to women but it should also be devoted to men who work hard enough to empower us in all walks of life. This not only creates a healthy working environment but ensures that each and everyone is treated equally. Lastly, I would like to add that I am mother to two boys. Personally speaking, great leaders are raised at home. I make sure my children believe in the same thought of equality, on giving and receiving equal opportunities.”

• Concept & Coordination: Umer Mushtaq
• Hair & Makeup: Nabila Salon
• Photography & Styling: The Rohail