‘Female leaders in global order: Understanding security’

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‘Women-only’ roundtable discusses challenges, opportunities for female leaders

Zubair Qureshi

Participants of a ‘women-only’ roundtable titled “Women Leaders in Global Order: Understanding Security” shared their views about the current economic, social and security situation women are working in and gave their perspective on how they could turn the challenges into opportunities.

The event was organized by the South Asian Strategic Stability Institute (SASSI) University in partnership with Konard Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and attended by eminent female leaders from different backgrounds such as business, security, media, civil society, clinical psychology, education and entrepreneurship.

The women-only initiative, according to Chairperson and Director General of SASSI University Dr Maria Sultan was in fact the first step towards a long journey to build a network of women working on political or security issues and in precarious security environment coming from different fields and backgrounds—government and parliament, activists, media, think tank, police & security forces, private business.

This will provide a platform to the talented women who for some reasons or other could not find their due place in society but are eager to continue their struggle, she said. Director Regional Programme, Southwest Asia, KAS, Dr Ellinor Zeino termed the maiden interactive session a productive and positive step towards connecting female leaders in global order and increasing their access to fellowships, funding & venture capital, etc.

“Today, I am here as an observer and look forward to listening to your perspective,” said Dr Ellinor. The event also featured discussions on economic opportunities and developments; capacity building and training, general issues like drug addiction, exploitation and harassment etc. Earlier, while taking part in the discussion, award-winning businesswoman and media figure Amna Malik shared her 20-year struggle and held it was not an easy ride.

Sidra, a PhD scholar from NUML also shared her perspective from an entrepreneur’s point of view. She termed economic security as the fundamental part of natural security.

Clinical psychologist Naureen drew the audience’s attention towards the prevalence of drug addiction among women, particularly young students of the 12-35 years age group. According to a survey, 57pc of female students in colleges and universities are taking drugs in some form, she said.

Dr Riffat from the National Defence University (NDU) also shared her experience as she has been engaged with the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) for over 30 years before joining the NDU.

Chiara Aranci, Naima Ansari, Dr Shabana Fayyaz, Hina Riaz, Saima Arif, Dr Nadia, Saima Noor and Amna Abdulrehman also gave their perspective of security particularly from female point of view and welcomed the initiative by SASSI and KAS.

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