LAHORE – The latest edition of the TEDxLahoreWomen event was organized with immense success at the British Council Lahore Library. The event brought together a diverse audience and featured an inspiring lineup of exceptional women speakers and performers who shared transformative ideas and experiences.
The British Council Lahore Library served as the perfect backdrop for a day filled with thought-provoking discussions, empowering stories, and connections that will resonate long after the event. 300+ attendees were treated to a unique and enriching experience that celebrated the power of women’s stories from diverse fields.
The event featured an exceptional lineup of speakers, including Izza Farrakh, Education Specialist at the World Ban; Ayesha Raza Farooq, Chairperson of the National Commission on the Rights of the Child; Nadia Jamil, Actor and Child Rights Activist; Risham Waseem, Climate Activist and Director MaatiTV; Fatima Amjed, Dance Teacher and Performer; Tania Aidrus, Co-Founder and CEO of DGlobal as well as architect of Digital Pakistan and Pakistan’s National Command and Operations Centre for COVID-19; and Farheen Raza Jaffry, acclaimed music artist.
Izza Farrakh’s thought provoking talk focused on learning poverty in Pakistan and how quality education must be provided to the children of Pakistan across the board to build their full potential under the human capital index.
Ayesha Raza Farooq passionately focused on the issue of domestic child labour and how it must be criminalized. She advocated for a collected and galvanized public-private partnership to save children from this social ill and get them to schools where they can build their futures.
Nadia Jamil brought the entire audience to their feet in a standing ovation through her heart wrenchingly honest talk about overcoming personal traumas to become the best version of yourself. She told the story of her struggle with sexual abuse as a child and an adolescent and how it marred her life, and the lowest point in her life when she was diagnosed with cancer during COVID-19. She shared how she decided to end her life but was saved by her child, which has compelled her to confront her demons and work as a Children’s Rights Activist.
Risham Waseem’s talk was a lighthearted but deeply moving chronicle of how and why she became an activist and a feminist and how we can use innovative ways to expand our circle of influence when it comes to activism in Pakistan.
Fatima Amjed added to the narrative with her journey of dance and dance education and how she is changing the perspective people have about this ancient art, slowly but surely empowering communities with this freeing expression of one’s self.
Tania Aidrus presented the case for how digital advancements are democratizing the world in multifarious ways across the globe and how Pakistan is poised to benefit from the expansion of positive digital footprint. She recounted how Pakistan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic was lauded across the world, from World Health Organization to the United Nations.
In addition to the stellar speaker lineup, Kristin K. Hawkins, US Consul General Lahore, also graced the event with her presence and shared valuable perspectives on the spirit of volunteering and how communities thrive when capable individuals share their gifts through mentorship. The event concluded with a rousing performance by Farheen Raza Jaffry and her band, where she sang a beautiful original song, followed by the poetry of one of Pakistan’s most beloved women poets Parveen Shakir and concluding the set with a moving rendition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s “Hum Dekhenge”.
The event also featured a special women entrepreneurs’ bazaar, where various women business owners set up their stalls to sell their crafts including food, embroidery, stationery and more.
The curator of TEDxLahoreWomen, Irteza Ubaid praised the speakers for their resilience and their path-breaking work. “TEDxLahoreWomen is our effort to shine the light on some of the most exceptional Pakistani women who are challenging the status-quo in unique ways. Their ability to boldly and fearlessly share their challenges and their journeys is a testament to their spirit to create a better world for others. They are the torchbearers of change for women, and our society. With my team of volunteers, I hope to keep amplifying the voices of such homegrown heroes.”
Speaking about the event, Nabiha Mansoor, Manager Libraries, British Council Pakistan, said, “Events like TEDxLahoreWomen provide the society with opportunities to share and learn from thought leaders. We at the British Council believe in cultivating libraries as cultural spaces where you can express yourself, interact with others and explore ideas to learn new things.”
TEDxLahoreWomen successfully created a platform for meaningful conversations, collaboration, and inspiration.