Filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and senator Sherry Rehman are representing Pakistan at the Women In The World (WITW) summit, taking place at Delhi's Taj Hotel today.
The annual summit, where leaders from all over the globe converge to talk about improving the lives of the world's women, will also host international stars like Cate Blanchett, alongside local luminaries like Madhuri Dixit, Nandita Das and Soha Ali Khan.
While Sharmeen will be moderating a session featuring an Israeli and a Palestinian mother working together to find peace, Robi Damelin and Bushra Awad; Sherry Rehman is speaking at a session titled 'Pakistan's defiant patriot', which is dedicated to her life "at the centre of influence and debate in Pakistan". Rehman will be interviewed by WITW founder Tina Brown herself!
Since the day-long summit's kick-off at 10am, many fascinating sessions have taken place.
Director Deepa Mehta and actors Nandita Das and Shabana Azmi talked about their 1996 film Fire, which explored lesbian relationships – a taboo subject in India.
""It was very important to me that I explore women in situations that might not have been known to the world," explained Deepa Mehta about the motive behind her controversial film. "While some organizations tried to ban Fire, one group did a candlelight march saying, 'We are Indians, and we are lesbians.'"
A panel, consisting of filmmaker R. Balki, actor Soha Ali Khan, model Lakhshmi Memon and Vogue fashion director and celebrity stylist Anaita Shroff Adajania, discussed the evolution of beauty ideals in India. A variety of views came forth:
Madhuri Dixit retold her journey as a megastar.
She attributed her success in pushing the envelope for female characters in Bollywood to a strong mother and good parenting:
Other leaders at the event include Iranian female race car driver Laleh Seddigh and the founder of Nigeria’s “Bring Back Our Girls” campaign, former World Bank Vice President for Africa Obiageli Ezekwesili.