Scent of Women

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It was 1995, one of my male classmates surprisingly told me why was I striving to be the top scorer, while I can easily find a successful man and get married!

The second incident took place during my 1st solo exhibition in 1999. I remember going to my department at the university to invite my teachers to be present at the inaugural ceremony. Unfortunately, one my teachers thought that I was getting married seeing the invitation card in my hand. When he opened the invitation card, he got shocked to see that it was an invitation to my 1st solo art exhibition in 1999.

That’s how we, women, are interpreted in our society!

Things have changed over the years and now women are celebrating their freedom of choice more than ever before; but not as much as they should.

Lots of constraints still block their career path, passion, and the pursuit of their dreams. Gender equality is still a fairy tale for society like ours. It is highly disappointing that despite all the hard labor, intelligence, talent, passion & hard work – women are still ignored in the society – at home, at workplace, across the country.

Through the ‘Women in Leadership’ initiative we want to celebrate women and their potential. The platform is designed to engage the society to support and encourage women to elevate to the next level, pursue their skills and achieve their desired dreams. And that will not happen without our closest partners – the males. With their sensitive co-operation, women can really achieve their goal/s in life. From her home to her work place she needs to be treated responsibly. We will assist in their journey to build their career, assist them in reaching their potential through mentoring and other assistance.

In professional field, women are continuously proving their skill, talent and integrity but most of them lose their way as obstruction comes along either from their family, the work place or from the environments where they live in.

I am sure, we all witness that a large number of women drop off after their study, when they should be starting their professional journey, as somewhere in the process they could not continue for various sociopolitical reasons. So, we really need to identify those issues and deal with them. It is essential for the community, society and of course for our nation to go forward. Almost half of the population of our country is female; if we lose their contribution we will lose in a big way. That cannot and should not happen, if we claim to be a nation of tomorrow. We are going ahead, therefore, female members of our family, society and surrounding need to be nurtured. Without full support of country’s economic growth we cannot even think of rising above.

This initiative will make sure that women have those attention and support, which is crucial for her to get from a society like ours. Having said that women also need to understand that they also need to contribute for development. It is their responsibility to engage themselves to a bigger picture. They have to realize their potential and need to pursue their career to be a part of the economic and social development in a true sense. We know that, in current time we see lot of women engaging themselves to different diversified sectors (e.g. RMG, manufacturing, pharmacy, medicine, engineering, business, corporations, entrepreneurship, start up, technology, civil service, army, navy, police, law etc) and they are proving their skills at the highest level too. But, it is significantly less than it should be. That’s why we must not forget that they need to be continuously inspired and encou-raged. ‘Women in Leadership’ will ensure that they got rewarded for their struggle and contribution.

‘Women in Leadership’ project is designed to inspire female leadership. ‘Inspiring Women Award’ will help identify the role models whom other females can look up to in pursuing their passion and profession. We will design extensive engagement with the nominated professionals and university students, helping them so that they can reach their potential. We are launching a bi-monthly publication as well – to capture and share the stories, learning, struggles and success to enable females succeed in their own space. Through Inspiring Leaders of Tomorrow, we will have a dialogue with the university students and assist them to continue their journey post the university education.

A woman’s journey is never easy! So let’s all be a part of it and inspire them in true sense.

Nazia Andaleeb Preema
President, Women in Leadership, On the occasion of
‘Inspiring Women Award’ 2015