Memoirs of a working woman

Lala Rukh Naz, the writer, stands by Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar as she talks to Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar always creates waves; be it the first Sikh PRO or the first ever female to be appointed his public relations officer. I have the honour to become the first ever female PRO at Governor’s House. In retrospect, the history is fraught with women’s struggle for their rights, from getting the right to vote to becoming the first female Prime Minister of the Muslim World. It has never been easy for women to tread the path that is full of obstacles. It reminds me of poetic lines by Robert Frost:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

However, the job of a working woman is not easy. A working woman always strives to strike a balance between home and job. Then, there is a glass ceiling for women who rise to higher positions. A glass ceiling as defined by dictionary is an unseen barrier that stops minorities and women from making progress. Being a working woman, I too have experienced the glass ceiling but it has made me and other women like me even stronger.

A woman has to work more than her counterpart to prove her mettle because she has to fight on different fronts. Apart from her job, she has to manage the household and look after her children. This makes women more tolerant and astute in handling stress. A common argument that is raised against working women is that they can’t focus on their work as they have to look after their home and children. And when it comes to working on higher positions, males are given preference. But women have proved that they cannot only work at higher positions but they can also win laurels for their professionalism and competency. Women have not only excelled in education; they have also won accolades in professional fields. Be it Benazir Bhutto, the first female prime minister of Pakistan, or Maryam Mukhtar, the martyred fighter pilot of Pakistan Air Force, women have proved that gender is not a barrier for them. And there are many other women who have created a niche for themselves in various fields.

It is an honour for me to serve as PRO to the Punjab Governor. The magnificent building of Governor’s House is historic. During my stint as PRO to Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, I have found him a man of principles. For the first time, all vice chancellors of public sector universities have been appointed on merit. He is a people’s governor; the doors of Governor’s House are open for everyone who wants to serve the country or humanity.

March 8 is celebrated in the history as Women’s Day. On this day, the services and contribution of women in the progress of a country is acknowledged. But still violence is committed against women in the name of customs and norms. Women are still deprived of their basic rights. But despite all these rights women are determined to play a positive role in the society.

In the words of Martin Luther King; “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin, but by the content of their character.”

I wish the same for my daughter that may she get to live in a country where she is only judged for her talent and abilities.

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