Some think it's a celebration. Others want a Men's Day. Read on to find out who said what!
Some think it's a celebration. Others want a Men's Day. Read on to find out who said what!

Happy Women's Day to our readers!

This year's International Women's Day revolves around the theme, Pledge For Parity.

We quizzed actors and musicians, directors and PR mavens about what Women's Day means to them and how they plan to work towards a more equal society.


Sanam Saeed


What does Women's Day mean to you?

I don't appreciate one day of the year only being assigned to recognising a woman's strength. She doesn't need a day to know how special or how brilliant she is.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

I admire my mother, I admire the courage of all independent women and I admire the resilience of every homemaking woman.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I hate to admit but men and women may not after all be equals. But what can be equal is the respect given to both. No one deserves more respect than the other. One has to play that part everyday to make sure women are respected starting from your home to the workplace, to the streets and even on television.


Hadiqa Kiani


What does Women's Day mean to you?

Women's day, to me, simply means celebrating the accomplishments our gender has made in this traditionally patriarchal world.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

My mother, Khawar Kiani, is of course on the top of my list. She was a working mother who, while being the Principal of a government girl's school, raised me and my two siblings as a widower. Later on, she not only became a poetess and wrote the lyrics for many of my songs such as 'Boohey Barian' and the 1999 Cricket World Cup song 'Intehai Shauq' but also worked as a script editor for Hum TV.

For the past 10 years, she has been paralysed and yet I still don't know anyone with the optimism and positivity that she radiates. Her strength, positivity and independence truly inspire me.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I, like every woman should, will continue to pave my own path in life. If we truly start to take ownership of our own lives then I don't think gender inequality can continue to exist.


Humaima Malik


What does Women's Day mean to you?

For me it's a celebration and recognition for each and every woman who is making an impact through her personality. It's like a toast raised for each and every woman out there who loves her identity and is ready to create a difference.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

My mother is my role model and she is first and the last woman that comes in my mind when it comes to the ideal persona.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I think every female artist is trying to break boundaries and stigmas around what girls can do and cant do. Instilling that belief in women and girls everywhere that you should stop at nothing is what I'm trying to promote. We are capable, we have potential and we have everything to offer to the world. I want to tell all women to come forward and do what your heart tells you. Don't let anything stop you.


Jami Mahmood


What does Women's Day mean to you?

Almost my entire career has been about Womanhood. Strings' 'Dhaani' is all women. 'Duur' featured no women at all as we didn't want to abuse womanhood. Moor is Mother. O21's main pivotal character was a woman Tatmain, who was our female Edward Snowden.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

1- My mother 2- My wife 3- My nani

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

By fighting to abolish item numbers completely from Pakistani cinema


Atiqa Odho


What does Women's Day mean to you?

12th February is Pakistan's Women's Day and 8th March is International Women's Day. Both dates are very important to me. As a complete coincidence, my birthday is on 12th February and my eldest daughter Umnia's birthday is 8th March. So we celebrate Women's Day on a public and personal level and are very proud of it.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

1- Seema Jaffer, CEO Bond Advertising. She is a wonderful woman and a real professional who is always there for anyone who depends on her in any way.

2- Fareshteh Aslam, Country Head, Golin Harris, Pakistan. A true professional, she is also a wonderful daughter, wife, mother, friend and is always dependable.

3- Frieha Altaf, CEO Catwalk Events. A true survivor and champion. I have seen her grow from strength to strength even through very difficult challenges. She symbolises success through adversity to me.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I believe that women need to be counted as capable professionals. Gender should not be the focus. We are equal to men in all senses so why fight for our birthright.


Frieha Altaf


What does Women's Day mean to you?

I think there should be a Man's Day too! And I love Women's Day because it focuses on issues that women face or successes they've achieved.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

It's hard to pick three women. Definitely Mother Teresa, Oprah Winfrey and our very own Sharmeen Obaid!

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I've been independent since I was 16 and pushing boundaries laid by our society since then. From becoming a model to an entrepreneur, a single parent putting fashion up as an industry, opening a model/talent agency, I've been a role model. However, I feel now women who are underprivileged have real issues, many that need to be addressed by the privileged society and I'd like to champion those now.


Nadia Hussain


What does Women's Day mean to you?

Women's Day being celebrated on one particular day doesn't have much meaning in my life. Women struggle and compromise on a daily basis, so it's more appropriate to celebrate it every day!

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

My mother Rehana Hussain, my khala Tina Sani and my phuppo Tabinda Chinoy.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

To do my part on gender equality, I regularly take part in women's entrepreneurship programs to help women establish their businesses.


Junaid Khan


What does Women's Day mean to you?

I think it's acknowledging women for their contribution towards making this world a better place to live in.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

1- My mother for the endless love and support and prayers because of which I am where I stand today

2- Bilquis Bano Edhi, for supporting so many lives without expecting anything but prayers in return.

3- Samina Baig, for her resilience, never giving up, summiting the Everest against all odds. She's a fighter and a role model for both men and women.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

Men and women are equal overall. Yet, in some departments, women are superior and in some men. Both men and women have some individual and collective roles to play. But do we see a Men's Day in the calendar? To create this equality, Women's Day actually should not be celebrated. Our women aren’t inferior. Celebrating Women’s Day is brushing on to our women that they are.


Fareshteh Aslam


What does Women's Day mean to you?

A day to draw more attention to the issues and achievements of women the world over.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Frieha Altaf and Nabila

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

By insisting that policies on hiring promotion and job distribution be on merit and only merit


Anoushey Ashraf


What does Women's Day mean to you?

It's a great day to celebrate womanhood. Women are usually under appreciated world over and days like these bring their issues to the forefront, which is awesome!

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

I'll give you a list besides my mom, because mom's are always #1 for everyone. My three ladies would beL

1- Sultana Siddiqui for being a visionary and a true success in terms of my field of work. She gives all us girls courage and hope that one can continue to work in media with respect and do big things!

2- Ronak Lakhany, for she's used much of her resources/influence in helping the underprivileged in Pakistan.

3- Ayesha Chundrigar for the work she does specially in terms of animals rights ( a cause very close to my heart). Her efforts truly are commendable. What makes her even more special is that she's very young and has already made so much of a difference!

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I wake up and go to work everyday to host a show that has a team of 10 people. Eight of them are men. I work with them as a team player, maintaining my respect and giving them the same in return. I try and do my bit everyday this way. You should too! Happy Women's Day!


Maria Wasti


What does Women's Day mean to you?

I think each day is Women's Day . It's how we perceive and look at women in a society. Women of Pakistan have come a long way. But I think the journey has just begun. The change will come when there is education for all men and women. And we as women start respecting our own selves first.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

I admire every woman who stands up for herself and takes control of her own life. From my maid to my hair dresser to my friends and beyond.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

For gender equality, awareness is most important. Mothers and fathers have to teach their sons how to respect women around them. And daughters/girls/women have to learn not to compromise their dignity and self-respect for the so-called norms of our society.


Wajahat Rauf


What does Women's Day mean to you?

Women's Day to me is about recognizing and appreciating what all they do for the rest of us. This is a big thank you from sons, husbands and fathers from all over.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

The first will have to be my mother, Sabiha. For the way she brought us up. Balanced, the right amount of liberal and conservative. She's had a tough life and mashallah fought successfully with cancer but hasn't ever lost her smile. I think the arty side in me also comes from her.

The second woman will have to be my wife Shazia. Strong, intelligent, well-educated with a strong sense of right and wrong. Being in Showbiz, our imaginations often run wild but sometimes you need someone to explain to you what is practical and realistic. Also I admire and respect the way she has brought up our two sons.

The third woman will have to be my second wife who I'm currently looking for. For the record and my personal safety, let me clarify that this was a joke.


Komal Rizvi


What does Women's Day mean to you?

It's an epic celebration of womankind. For each and every tear and for each and every pain and struggle and most importantly for ever victory and achievement made by strong and talented women since the beginning of time. I believe it at least deserves one small single day to be highlighted and appreciated.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

1- My mother, who gave up everything to raise three successful people (four, if you include my dad!)

2- Mother Teresa, who gave up everything and dedicated her life to everyone but herself.

3- Benazir Bhutto, who rose above and beyond the powerful men around her and made herself capable and successful despite all the life threats and extremely dangerous hurdles.

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

I'm not a feminist. I believe both genders have their own role to play. I do hope I'm inspiring young women who have been blessed by the Almighty to rise up and do their "thing" with feeling intimidated or powerless. Without feeling like there is no one out there living her dreams. It is possible and I pray that everyone man woman and child can achieve every noble and sincere goal they have, InshAllah.


Ali Kazmi


What does Women's Day mean to you?

Women's Day is a day to celebrate the amazing women in your life- the grandmas, the ma's, the sisters, the wives, the khalas and the phuppos! But don't just limit it to one day, make it a lifetime event.

Name 3 women whom you admire and why

This the toughest question! So many great women to name! I have to at least name four who have shaped my life and will always be dear to me!

My nani - she was a brave trendsetter with a heart of gold and always helped people!

My ma - first of all, she is my ma and she is the best! She has the purest heart and soul! She broke barriers by being one of the first prolific female directors at PTV and spoke her mind and still continues to be vocal about a variety of social issues that matter in Pakistan!

My sister, who has been like a mother to me at times and always a best friend! She is an amazing strong woman that gave up everything for her family and her two kids and loves and lives life to the fullest!

Last but not least, my wife, who I've known for more than half my life! Another woman of immense strength, a super smart career woman and mother, she has organizational and multitasking capabilities beyond most people! She keeps me grounded and happy always! She fills my heart with gladness, takes away all my sadness, eases my troubles, that's what she does. My partner in crime always!

Also a shout out to my amazing mother-in-law who really is like a mother to me!

How do you plan to do your part for gender equality?

Gender equality is true evolution for us as human beings! It is the time of dual income households world over! I for one due to my flexible schedule as an actor take care of my son while my wife is at work , I help with the chores around the house (she's an amazing cook so I don't interfere with that) and I just travelled with him alone to Pakistan for work, so he could spend time with his grandparents! The number of questions i faced because people were so taken aback by this! It should be the norm, not the anomaly! And I encourage all men to not take the women in their life for granted, love them, respect them and above all share the load of life! Equality for infinity!

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