Not one or two but three amazing Pakistani women were honoured by The Embassy of France for setting good examples in agriculture, gender equality, and women empowerment.
The award ceremony took place on 8th March, Women’s Day, to recognize the efforts of three Pakistani women, namely Humera Iqbal, Irum Fatima and Mehreen Raza.
This initiative was a collaboration between the French embassy, Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in July last year.
It aims to give a platform of achievement and highlight the best practices by women in climate change and gender equality. Moreover, the awardees received a cash prize of €3,500, €2,500 and €2,000 respectively.
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Minister Sherry Rehman Congratulates Winners
Pakistan’s Climate Change Minister Sherry Rehman was also present at the event as the Chief Guest on the occasion. She congratulated the Pakistani women and presented the award and prize.
Your stories are indeed inspiring for other women and we have many things to learn from you, -Minister Sherry Rehman
She added that unfortunately, Pakistan is one of the countries that bear the brunt of climate change every year, and particularly, the memory of last year’s floods is still etched on our minds. Hundreds and thousands of people in Sindh went homeless, colossal loss caused to crops and livestock.
Similarly, we are facing another impending calamity i.e. heat wave which is another ‘gift’ of climate change, she added. In a tweet, Sherry Rehman thanked Ambassador Nicolas Galey calling the event an opportunity for women to spearhead innovation in community leadership roles.
Thank u to Amb @NicholasGaley @FranceinPak @IUCN for partnering on the climate and gender awards today. These inspire women for overcoming obstacles and spearheading innovation in community leadership roles. @ClimateChangePK needs allies in protecting vulnerability at scale.
Pakistani Women Who are Making a Difference
The first prize winner, Humera Iqbal, is a volunteer who helps in supporting women via livestock and argiculture. While expressing gratitude to Ambassador Nicolas Galey, Philippe Steinmetz of AFD, Mahmood Akhtar Cheema, Country Representative of IUCN and Minister Rehman, Humera said “We women thought carefully about our own values and set ourselves challenges to lead by examples.”
Irum Fatima, the second winner works for Pakistani Hoslamand Khawateen Network. She shared that she highly believes that empoweing women plays a viral role in enviornmental sustainibility and therefore ensuring sustainable futures for generations yet to come.
Mehreen Raza who is also running a non-profit non-government organisation “SheGuard” was given the third prize. While accepting the award she said “She-Guard is a shield to ensure women and earth’s health. She-Guard is the silver lining for the most ignored problems of women’s health and climate change. She-Guard ensures that women’s problems aren’t taboo anymore.”