KARACHI: In a male-dominated society, it is rare for women in Pakistan to emerge through the gender bias. Rarer still when choosing sports as a destination.
And yet there are women who defied the odds, women who not just dared to dream but made certain to achieve their goals.
On this women’s day, lets have a look at a few exceptional ladies who have managed to inspire us through their dedication to shine in sports.
Born in the narrow valleys of Waziristan where women aren’t generally allowed to play sports, Maria Toorpakai disguised as a boy, Genghis Khan, to be able to play sports. Encouraged by her father, who advocates for women’s rights, Toorpakai soon found squash to be her calling.
She came third in world’s junior women’s squash championship in 2009 and is Pakitan’s number one squash player.
Despite threats to her life by the Taliban, Toorpakai is pursuing her dreams and inspiring others while at it.
Hailing from the town of Abbotabad, Sana Mir grew up playing street cricket with her brothers. In between idiolising her favourite cricketers — Waqar Younis, Imran Khan and Jonty Rhodes — it didn’t take long for Mir to realise her heart belonged to cricket. And she was brave enough to pursue it. Mir is now the captain of the Pakistan’s national women’s cricket team and is perhaps the most obvious name when it comes to sports in Pakistan.
A 21-year-old girl from Gilgit-Baltistan pleasantly surprised everyone when she became the first Paksitani woman to climb the Mount Everest in 2013. Baig is just the third woman in the world to have accomplished that.
Trained by her brother, Mirza Ali, Baig is a mountain guide and expedition leader in the Hindu Kush and Karakoram.
The captain of Pakistan women’s national football team, Hajra Khan set out to play at the age of 14 and has not looked back since.
She has represented Pakistan internationally, helped the team reach semi-final at the SAFF Women’s Championship in 2010. Hajra made history for the country’s women football team when top German football clubs invited her to play for them, becoming the first Pakistani women footballer to sign an international contract.