Karachi: Beggar turn entrepreneur, Kareema Juma whose family have been beggars all their lives, was honored with LADIESFUND Idol Award at the 10th LADIESFUND® Women’s Awards for Pakistan 2018 at Sindh Governor House, alongside Saliha Bibi, an illiterate Kalash woman who is now an educator.
“It is very important for us at LADIESFUND to spotlight and recognize such truly inspiring and transformative women, alongside the gifted athletes, leaders, trailblazers and of course great female economic contributors of our nation,” said LADIESFUND President Tara Uzra Dawood, “We are honoured to be able to celebrate and gather so many remarkable Pakistani women.”
Over 500 women powerhouses and make influencers came out to celebrate the strength and empowerment of women, as well as acknowledge the great economic contribution of Pakistani women. Indeed, all finalists in Trailblazer and Momentum categories, were required to be tax-payers!
The Governor of Sindh, Imran Ismail Sahib, was the Chief Guest of the event and stated, “I appreciate the decade-long efforts of LADIESFUND to encourage and support women entrepreneurs … these efforts are playing a significant role in the upliftment and empowerment of women by providing them financial securities.”
LADIESFUND Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri and Tina Sani were Guests of Honour. Nasreen Mahmud Kasuri is the founder of one of the largest privately-owned education systems in the world with branches in 8 countries, student body nearing 300,000 and a staff of approx. 17,000, and flew from Lahore for the occasion. Tina Sani is a Pakistani Ghazal singer who also received the Pride of Performance award from the Government of Pakistan.
Other winners included People’s Choice winners Trailblazer Sidra Nadeem, Momentum Naila Naqvi and Women of the Year Kamila Shamsie. This year’s judges who finalized the slate of nominees included past LADIESFUND winners Ameena Saiyid (2012), Angie Marshall (2014), Nilofer Saeed (2010) & Yasmeen Lari (2016). Voting was viral via online, radio and television reaching over 100 million homes. Other pre-announced awards included Pakistani Karate champion Nargis Hameedullah (Pioneer), Pakistan’s first crane operators Faryal Anwar & Umama Saleem (Pioneer), Special Kids educationist Fauzia Hussain (Angel), The Garage School’s Shabina Mustafa (Angel) and a post-humous courage award human rights lawyer and social activist Asma Jahangir.
Commendations were also presented in Natasha Ali Lakhani (Beauty), Emaan Mahmud (art), Sophia Balagamwala (art), Samya Arif (art), Dr. Aftab Munir (medicine), Dr. Azra Ahsan (medicine) and Dr. Pushpa Srichand (medicine).
First ever LADIESFUND Men of Inspiration awards were given to Humayun Saeed, Amin Gulgee and Omer Shahzad.
An International Fellowship was awarded to Syeda Humaira Anwaar to travel to Germany for World Business Dialogue. She was joined on stage by past international fellows Rabia Rafiq (2013), Sindhya Kirshan (2014), Komal Gopi (2015), Naina Rani (2016) & Sonia Kamnani (2017). Bachelors Scholarships to Iqra University were renewed for Maica Mary (who is the daughter of one of the Governor’s staff), and for Marium Hashmi.
Spotted at the event were Turkish Consul General Tolga Ucak, German Consul & Deputy Head Birgit Kuhlmann, British Deputy Head of Mission Mark Rakestraw, PSX MD Richard Morrin, Byram Avari, Politician Khwaja Izhar ul hassan, Spenta Kandawalla, Frieha Altaf, etc