We Pakistanis are very strange people. Surprising and shocking simultaneously. 3 days ago a women was stoned to death outside Lahore high court by family for she married out of own choice. Media took up the issue, everyone ranted about women rights, and taboo of honor killings. Yesterday evening, in very city of Lahore, Coca Cola Pakistan organized an event to honor and acknowledge Pakistani females who have achieved something. Event was named as Savvy & Successful where 6 Pakistani females were awarded and acknowledged for their achievements on personal and community levels.
It was a wonderful event arranged at Lahore Expo Center; following 6 iconic women were acknowledged and awarded for their outstanding achievements, breaking all the stereotypes about women prevailing in our society. Looking at their profiles and achievements its impossible not be surprised that our nation is so blessed with such great women of substance.
- Ameena Syed – Managing Director Oxford Press, mind behind Karachi & Islamabad literature festival, first ever Pakistani woman to head a multinational company, she has also been awarded Knight of the Order of Art and literature by Government of France and Order of British Empire (OBE)
- Ayesha Farooq – Ayesha is a fighter in every meaning of the word. She’s Pakistan’s first and only female combat-ready fighter pilot.
- Naseem Hameed – Naseem is south Asia’s fastest woman and as called many times ‘Queen of Track’ she wom gold medal in SAF games 2010 in 100 meters sprint event. She’s inspiring upcoming athletes in her academy “Naseem Hameed Sports Academy”
- Nilofer Shahid – The Runway Empress of Pakistan is undoubtedly the fashion icon of Pakistan. She was awarded Order of Arts & Letters from the Government of France. Nilofer is the only Pakistani fashion designer who has exhibited at world renowned venues like Louvre in Paris, Royal Albert Hall in UK and the list goes on.
- Roshaneh Zafar – Roshaneh started Kash foundation in 1996 on Grameen model that microfinances women. She has been awarded with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz from Government of Pakistan and One Women Initiative award from U.S. state department in 2009.
- Samina Baig – Samina set foot on Mount Everest in 2013 at age of 22. She became the youngest Muslim and Pakistan’s only woman to have summit the Mount Everest.
CCBPL being a commercial venture, honoring and acknowledging women from different walks of life is a testimonial to the fact that our women are not behind any other women in the world, they have proven their mettle in all fields and grounds, provided some support from our society these women can do wonders.
This wasn’t just a corporate event or a PR stunt, rather it was mystical endowment of coke’s vision and core values they believe in women empowerment. Top management along with Coca Cola groups HR director Ms. Rengin Oney and Coca Cola International’s President Mr. Ahmet C. Bozer were present at the ceremony. Ms. Oney said women have been nurturing and empowering lives since the beginning of times. Mr. Bozer loud & clear mentioned corporate vision regarding women empowerment, acknowledging their contributions and achievements. In his keynote speech, Mr. Bozer said a research was conducted in the US that woman does 60% of the total work yet they get less than 20% of the share in income, it was about housewives. This whole savvy & successful event was a testimonial to cokes’ vision of women empowerment and acknowledges their contributions.
Chief Guest at the Savvy & Successful awards 2014 was the honorable Governor Punjab, Mr. Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar. He, in his address, told that he has always been speaking up for women rights and struggling for it.
Successful & Savvy awards started in 2013 by CCBPL. 2014 event award ceremony was followed by a fashion show by Pakistan’s fashion icon Ms. Nilofer Shahid and spectacular liver performance of Coke Studio.
Such esteemed guests’ presence at these kind of events which carry a strong message to the society balances out all the negativity that sad events like honor killings create. Government and private sector’s like-mindedness in issues such as women empowering is indeed a very good positive and healthy sign for society at large. As the honorable Governor said, the kind of progress and achievements I see today in females, day isn’t very far when these talented ladies will take over the society as driving force.