The history of Muslims is rich with women of great achievements in all walks of life. Now in Pakistan or everywhere in the world women have held high offices including that of the Prime Minister, Speaker of the National Assembly, Leader of the Opposition, as well as federal ministers, judges, and generals in the armed forces. The history of Indo-Pak sub-continent witnessed courageous women whose strength and will power made them a role model for the Muslim women of the 20th century. Muslim women have made great contributions to the Pakistan Movement and if we look at history, we find them making all kinds of sacrifices.
In masses of brave women, some are given below
Mother of Nation Fatima Jinnah and sister of Quaid e Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah but this is not where her importance truly lies. She was a remarkable personality in herself and played an active role in the political movement that led to the creation of Pakistan. She was also a brilliant social activist and promoted women’s health, education, and political presence, both before and after the creation of the new country. As a result of her endeavors, she is often referred to as “Khatoon-e-Pakistan” (Lady of Pakistan) and Madr-e-Millat (Mother of the Nation) as a mark of respect and admiration.
Rana Liaquat Ali
The history of the Pakistan movement is incomplete without mentioning the services of Begum Raana Liaquat Ali. She was educated at the University of Lucknow where she obtained a first class Masters degree with honors in economics in 1929. She also served as economic adviser to Jinnah's Pakistan Movement Committee and later became First Lady of Pakistan when her husband Liaquat Ali Khan became Pakistan's first Prime Minister. As First Lady of Pakistan, she launched programmes for woman's development in the newly founded country. Later, she started her career as a political leader that lasted a decade.
Amjadi Bano Begum
The brave and courageous Amjadi begum was the first Muslim female political leader of British India. Marvelous woman and widow of Maulana Mohammad Ali Johar started her political career at a time when women were restricted to their homes and their obligation was to take care of their home and children. She got married to Maulana Muhammad Ali Johar in 1902 and with the support of her husband and mother-in-law; she broke all the restriction and joined the Khilafat Movement. In every journey and meeting of Maulana, she went along with him, even she attended the round table conference of London in 1930. She was the only female member of the committee of 25 members. As a member of the committee, she participated in the drafting of that historic resolution of Pakistan on 23 March 1940.
Begum Salma Tassaduq Hussain
Begum Tasadduque began to understand the value of art and literature early in life. she was married to Dr. Tasadduque Hussain. She continued her studies even after her marriage and completed her graduation from the University of Punjab. In 1940, she became the most active member of Punjab Provincial Women’s Subcommittee. Salma Tassaduq Hussain successfully contested on the Muslim League ticket for the Punjab Provincial Assembly seat from the inner Lahore constituency, winning by an overwhelming majority. She worked very hard during the Bihar riots, helped the Bihar refugees in their camps, and staying for nearly two months in the affected areas.
Begum Jehan Ara Shah Nawaz
Begum Jehan Ara Shahnawaz was the first Muslim woman to make a speech in London’s Guild Hall. Begum Jahanara Shah Nawaz, daughter of Mian Sir Muhammad Shaft who was one of the founders of all India Muslim League. She represented the Muslim women at the three Round Table Conferences, held in London. She was also elected to the Punjab Legislative Assembly.
Other women who played an active part in the freedom movement are Begum Iqbal Hussain, Begum Salma Tassaduq Hussain, Geti Ara Bashir Ahmed, Begum Shaista Ikramullah, Begum Viqarunnisa Noon, Begum Nawab Muhammad Ismail and Noorus Saba Begum. There were other countless women, who had played their vital role to inspire the men to rise for the cause of a separate Muslim state in the subcontinent.