Gosh This Woman…

It’s no more about settling for less, no more about weak aims or dampened spirits. On the contrary, this era is all about understanding one’s own strength and realizing the hidden potential, honing the skills and exhibiting the world what you’re capable of, in a good way of course. Yes everyone talks of being empowered and independent but whatever we do in this regard must be with the idea of promoting sustainable growth and development for the upcoming people. It’s our job to be inspirational and trace a path for those following us and allow them to continue tracing paths for their upcoming generations and so on, the cycle must continue!

This article is about being Bold, not a rebel, but standing firm for your beliefs and boldly pursuing your dreams regardless of the opposition. Gosh cosmetics is a Copenhagen based quirky cosmetic company that focuses on innovative and edgy looks and offers a complete cosmetic solution for its customers. Its target are the women who are ready to embrace the bold look and carry it around with class.

On Women’s Day, Gosh Pakistan, like many other brands, did a social media activity called #BreakTheNorm, highlighting women of strength and empowerment in Pakistan, how they proved to be game changing and broke norms that have been rigidly infused in our lives for decades. Of approx 50% of the strata that we hold in this population, these women have stood out for their hard work, passion and devotion to uplift Pakistan’s name on a global scale. Their undying enthusiasm and relentless struggles through the thicks and thins of society led them to set examples and make headlines and influence many young females to gather courage and buckle up to set out with a purpose.
A number of women participated in the online conversation around #BreakTheNorm tweeting stories of either popular figures from Pakistan or even relayed personal stories where they personally or someone close to them had proven to be exceptionally bold and took a leap of courage to change the course of their life. After all big changes occur with a small step!
Some notable women featured in this activity are briefly discussed below, other inspirational stories can be read following the hashtags #BreakTheNorm and #OhMyGosh

Samar Khan
The first lady to have cycled atop Biafo glacier (4500m) in the Karakorum Mountains of Gilgit Baltistan region. She belongs to Lower Dir, which is relatively a conservative area for women to think of pursuing sports and other such dauntless activities. But her family had moved to Rawalpindi where she completed her Masters in Physics. Her keen love for sports led her to join the Army school of Physical Training, from where she became a certified Paraglider. She also made a national record of cycling 1000m from Islamabad to Pak-China Border, Khunjerab Pass in -5 degrees. From here on her journey to fame never halted and is continuously growing.

Samina Khayal Baig
At the age of 21, Samina Baig became the first Pakisani woman and third Pakistani to climb Mount Everest. She belongs to Shimshal Valley known as the valley of mountaineers that has produced some of the incredible mountaineers of this country, including Samina’s brother, Mirza Ali who accompanied her in her expedition to Everest and just 428m short of the summit he let Samina take the lead and reach the summit as a gesture of women empowerment and gender equality. Being born as a mountain child, she initiated climbing at the age of 4 and later, besides the Himalayas, she was employed as a guide and expedition leader for Hindukush and Karakorum Peaks as well. This was a commendable feat indeed. A documentary movie on her climb to Everest by the name of “Beyond The Heights” was released in the year 2015

Zenith Irfan
Fulfilling her late father’s wishes, Zenith sped off to a 3200 km journey all by herself to the northern areas of Pakistan on a bike!
She learnt riding a bike from her brother and decided to see her late father’s wish come true who wanted to travel the world on a bike. Her family supported this thought fully and encouraged her to break through gender barriers and not bat an eye or second guess her ability to triumph

Azima Haider Zaidi
A woman of great strength and will power, Azima Haider Zaidi was born with a physical disability and makes use of prosthetic limbs, however, through motivation from her friends, family and teachers, she was able to convert this disability into her winning force that enabled to stand strong and be different rather being dependent. She has keen interest in Arts and is a magical at her work. She wants to make progress in the area of education and focus on making inclusive education an integral part of coaching because we don’t have enough accessibility for people with difficulties and most of them are left behind in very important areas of life. She is inspired by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and wishes to become a journalist one day to highlight issues of disabled people and stand for their rights

Shamim Akhtar
This 53 year old brave lady drives a Truck in Pakistan! Yes a truck! Where women are still criticized for their driving skills, this lady learnt driving Heavy Transport Vehicle from Islamabad Traffic Police Training, when she had to singlehandedly take care of her family after her husband’s death. To support them financially, she took this step and now drives from Rawalpindi to Azad Kashmir carrying heavy bricks. (approx 200 kms). She wishes to see more women bridge gap between genders and see equality flourish by breaking gender bases obstacles.

Sabia Abbat
This National Cycling Champion (2013) was the first to make her mark from Hazara Division , where women are only limited to their homes and cycling as a passion isn’t quite welcomed. Her husband, in-laws and her family has been highly supportive of her passion and proudly speak of her achievements. Indeed, the family also deserves appreciation for uplifting her spirits despite the strict local norms
Aniqa Bano – Nargis Khatoon

Aniqa Bano along with her husband runs a deaf school in the remote area of Skardu, which not only provides education but also shelter and food to nearly 26 children with hearing disability. One of her children was born deaf that motivated her to initiate this project and runs it on self finance but with the number of students increasing and them growing up, she certainly welcomes financial help and aid from welfare organizations. She is breaking the norm because while people only think to sustain themselves or their families, she is carrying out this generous work not only for her kids but others too. Much respect!

The list can go on and on and we’ll find superwomen /superheroes from every nook and corner of the society who decided to hold the leash instead of being leashed by the superficial norms of the society and made bold but right decisions. That’s where Gosh Cosmetics ideology coincides well with this theme.

How I personally related to this campaign? It was because one of the bold steps I took in my life was to quit a good-positioned, stable job and pursue what I loved doing most. The corporate suffocation was taking a huge toll on my temperament and personality and the amount of unpleasant incidents were increasing, hence I decided to not let any responsibility come ahead of my self esteem and embraced the decision to go solo! So I quit and started working freelance and I am now doing what always interested me, i.e Food & Travel, hence I am a Food & Travel Blogger plus a Social outreach & PR consultant. I work on my own, be my own boss, get time to meditate and carry out yoga, which has considerably brought change in my temperament and I am now way more composed and calm compared to times when I was working under corporate pressure.
Besides this, there was one controversial situation where the CII (Counil of Islamic Ideology) passed a bill allowing the husbands to lightly beat their wives if they disagreed to their wishes. As a response to this inhuman and demeaning bill, photographer Fahhad Rajper shot a series of B&W photos with women protesting against the bill in their way. I was one of them 🙂

Details can be read here

Women protest to CII Bill in Pakistan
So whether or not, you have done something worth making news yet or not, no matter if you’re just exhibiting independence in your own small realm, but being bold and self assured about yourself and the decisions you make is highly important for today’s woman. Not implying at all that you don’t take anybody’s suggestion in consideration and go ahead with even a foolish idea, but believe in yourself, meet positive people, inspire yourself, don’t be afraid to fail or speak your mind and keep learning more and eventually follow your heart and show the world what you’re made of and make them say, “Gosh This Woman..!”

Got something to say? Drop your suggestions and comments in the section below. Don’t forget to hit the Star button 🙂 

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