South Asian Women as Leaders

Author: Dr Naseem Amin Dhedhi, Family Physician & member Spice Route Movement YDM & SIG health equity

Around the globe women are breaking barriers in a number of fields including medicine, education, science & technology, sports and leadership roles. The South Asia region is no different, today we see women participation and representation in a vast number of fields. Air force female fighter pilots, Ayesha Farooq and Maryam Mukhtiyar, who have set an example of courage and bravery. Likewise, Sania Mirza was a successful professional tennis player. Over years women have gained a lot of confidence and have dared to enter the horizons which were forbidden to them earlier. Medical and surgical field is the same, we have seen competent female doctors in orthopedics, urology, cardiovascular surgery and related specialties which were thought to be best served and managed by male surgeons only. In South Asian countries including Pakistan we have formal sports training and dedicated academies for girls and women. Our girls are representing their countries in national and international sports competitions like cricket, volleyball and taekwondo.

In this era of modern technology, there are many options for girls and women when it comes to working from home. Government and some private organizations are offering free of cost online courses in Information technology and related fields.

Choosing a career and advancing a career can be challenging for women, maintaining work life balance can be a task. Global communication and social media has helped women a lot in making progress in their respective fields through innovative ideas and making clients accessible. Similarly, WONCA (an international forum) has made it possible to bring doctors from different regions of the world together. It allows health care professionals to discuss and discover new avenues and together they try to bring solutions to the local healthcare problems. Conferences are regularly arranged for growth of doctors in academia and research.