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Two Pakistanis make global list of 100 inspiring women

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Two Pakistani women have been named among the BBC’s 100 inspiring and influential women of 2023.

The BBC on Tuesday revealed its list of 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world for 2023.

 

 

Among them are attorney and former US First Lady Michelle Obama, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, Ballon d’Or-winning footballer Aitana Bonmatí, AI expert Timnit Gebru, feminist icon Gloria Steinem, Hollywood star America Ferrera and beauty mogul Huda Kattan.

In a year where extreme heat, wildfires, floods, and other natural disasters have been dominating headlines, the list also highlights women who have been working to help their communities tackle climate change and take action to adjust to its impacts.

Afroze-Numa, one of the last Wakhi shepherdesses residing in Gilgit-Baltistan’s remote Shimal Valley, was recognised for her contributions to the local community.

She took care of goats, yaks, and sheep for almost three decades.

“Having learnt the trade from her mother and grandmothers, she is part of a centuries-old tradition that is now dying out in Pakistan’s Shimshal valley,” the BBC said.

Every year, these shepherdesses take their flocks to pastures 4,800m (16,000ft) above sea level, where they prepare dairy products to barter, while their animals feed.

Their income has brought the village prosperity and allowed them to provide an education for their children. Afroze-Numa still fondly remembers being the first woman in the valley to own a pair of shoes.

Another Pakistani to make it to the list is Neha Mankani, who had travelled to affected areas to help the victims during the last year’s devastating floods.

Through her charity, Mama Baby Fund, Mankani and her team provided life-saving birthing kits and midwifery care to more than 15,000 flood-affected families, according to BBC.

Her typical practice focuses on low-resourced settings, emergency response, and climate-affected communities.

Mama Baby Fund has now raised enough money to launch a boat ambulance that will transport pregnant women living in coastal communities to nearby hospitals and clinics for urgent treatment.

“The work of midwives in communities facing climate-related disasters is vital. We are both first responders and climate activists, who make sure women can continue to receive the reproductive, pregnancy, and postpartum care they need, even when the situation around them is deteriorating.”

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