Ladiesfund Women’s Awards 2018

Honouring Inspirational Women

On a Thursday evening, the Sindh Governor House was decked up in pink and white with matching flowers and a lovely decor – a setting perfect for honouring women achievers of Pakistan. Organised annually by the Dawood Global Foundation, the 10th anniversary of the LADIESFUND Women’s Awards 2018 witnessed some of the most inspiring female figures take over the stage.

Tara Uzra Dawood, Omer Shahzad, Amin Guljee, Humayun Saeed & Tina Sani

The prestigious event welcomed around 400 women who were not just dynamic in their respective professions but also wonderfully inspiring. A huge number of guests including the government dignitaries, diplomats, counsel generals, sports personalities, artistes, celebrities, influencers, journalists as well as the crème de la crème of the society were present to grace the celebratory occasion. Everyone gathered to celebrate the empowerment and strength of women of substance; and it wasn’t just popular female names that we all know, but this year LADIESFUND introduced many more newcomers – and deserving to say the least – in the list of their awardees in recognition of their hard work in various fields.

The evening was loaded with acknowledgement of female voices for their great contribution to the economy of the country and for their efforts to create jobs in their respective professions through prospects of entrepreneurship.

All of the finalists in the Trailblazer and Momentum categories required being tax-payers and to find many women among the categories playing such an important role was a breath of fresh air.

Governor Sindh Imran Ismail presenting the award to Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri

Chief guest of the evening, Governor Sindh Imran Ismail spoke at length about the great contribution of women in Pakistan’s economy and about the talent women possess when it comes to running important offices and business as bosses and employees, all while taking care of domestic matters in their life. He gave an ode to the women present at the awards, praising them for their skills in making the country a better ground for economic prosperity and empowerment of the female gender.

Among the list of high-profile guests sat LADIESFUND Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Educationist Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri (Founder of Beaconhouse School System) for her contributions to the cause of education. She especially flew in from Lahore to grace at the event; and vocalist Tina Sani who is one of the most endeared ghazal singers and the recipient of the Pride of Performance award. The most amazing and well deserved award – The Idol – of the evening went to Kareema Juma and Saliha Bibi who are known for the undying efforts to work for the betterment of the communities in the rural areas of Sindh.

Judges among the award’s jury had celebrated names which were also past winners such as Ameena Saiyid from 2012, Angie Marshall from 2014, Nilofer Saeed from 2010 and Yasmeen Lari from 2016. The voting took place online, on radio and on television.

There was also a list of pre-announced awards including the one bestowed upon Pakistani Karate champion Nargis Hameedullah for the Pioneer category, Pakistan’s first women crane operators Faryal Anwar and Umama Saleem, The Garage School’s Shabina Mustafa and special kids educationist Fauzia Hussain for the Angel category. A post-humous courage award was given to human rights lawyer and social activist Asma Jahanagir for her struggle to ensure the provision of human rights for the marginalised communities in Pakistan.

Natasha Lakhani and Frieha Altaf

Celebrities like Humayun Saeed, Omer Shahzad, Amin Guljee and Deepak Perwani also won the LADIESFUND Man of Inspiration Award. Commendations were also presented in various categories with Natasha Ali Lakhani winning for beauty, Emaan Mahmud, Sophia Balagamwala and Samya Arif for art, Dr Aftab Munir, Dr Azra Ahsan and Dr Pushpa Srichand for medicine.

International Fellowships were also awarded to a young, aspiring woman, Syeda Humaira Anwaar, who received an opportunity to travel to Germany for the World Business Dialogue and the German Counsel General Eugen Wollfarth presented the fellowship to the recipient. The two were joined on stage by the previous international fellows Rabia Rafiq, Sindhya Kirshan, Komal Gopi, Naina Rani and Sonia Kamnani. Scholarship to study at the Iqra University was also renewed for Maica Mary and Marium Hashmi, which was the event’s unforgettable highlight. •