ISLAMABAD: The second session focused on 'Women in the corridors of power and on decision-making tables'. This session was moderated by Samar Abbas while panelists included Federal Minister Dr. Fahmida Mirza, Hina Jilani, Tania Aidrus and Tasneem Alam.

ISLAMABAD: The HUM Roundtable successfully culminated here Sunday at HUM studio, HUM News office. The event, titled Women As Agents of Social Change comprised two panel discussions. The first session focused on ‘The gendered face of Covid-19’, while the second session focused on ‘Women in the corridors of power and on decision-making tables.’ The discussions were witnessed by a limited audience comprising media, students and select guests, keeping Covid-19 SOPs in mind, says a Press release.
Moderated by Dr Maria Zulfiqar, the panelist of the first session comprised Tabassum Adnan, a Pakistani women’s rights activist from the Swat Valley. Recipient of the Human Defenders Award, she was a nominee for the N-Peace Empowerment Award and won the US State Department’s 2015 International Women of Courage Award for her efforts in seeking justice for Pakistani women. She has also won the Nelson Mandela Award 2016; Amin Hashwani, a businessman, social activist and author, founder and supporter of initiatives in the field of health, education, youth development, art, culture and peace building. In lieu of his services he has been recognized by national and international institutions, and has received an honorary Doctorate. He was acknowledged as one of the 25 ‘Intelligent Optimists’ globally by Ode magazine; Sadia Khan, a Commissioner at Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan. She has previously served as the CEO of the Pakistan Institute of Corporate Governance. Sadia has pursued a versatile career path traversing investment banking, development finance, financial regulation, family businesses and entrepreneurship across three continents. With Masters degrees in Economics from both Cambridge University, U.K and Yale University, U.S.A, Sadia has worked with various international institutions and local regulatory authorities, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the Philippines, the Securities & Exchange Commission of Pakistan and the State Bank of Pakistan; Dr Ayza Yazdani Abid is a consultant Educational Psychologist with extensive experience in psycho-educational assessment. She is trained in diagnosis of psychological and learning disorders and specialist in using standardized tests to determine IQ and identify issues in learning. She is an EMDR trained therapist working with family and individuals, children and adolescents and young adults. Helping to understand and overcome stresses from environment and within. Dr Yazdani has a research background as well as practical experience in working with individuals with a wide range of special needs.
After an interesting session that lasted one hour, followed by questions and answers the next session started, moderated by Samar Abbas. The panellists for the second session were Fahmida Mirza, a Pakistani politician who is the current Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination, in office since 2018. She served as the 18th and only women Speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan from March 2008 to June 2013; Hina Jilani, an advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a human-rights activist from Lahore in Punjab, Pakistan. Jilani is internationally recognized for her expertise in critical human rights investigations. In 1980 she co-founded with her sister Asma Jahangir, Pakistan’s first all-female legal aid practice, AGHS Legal Aid Cell (ALAC) in Lahore which aside from providing legal awareness, also offers education, protection from exploitation, legal research, counselling and providing legal assistance. She is also one of the founders of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and the Women’s Action Forum (WAF) (a pressure group established in 1980 campaigning against discriminatory legislation) and also founded Pakistan’s first legal aid center in 1986; Tania Aidrus the co-founder and CEO of Rayn Group, a technology advisory and investment holding company. Tania has served as an advisor to the Prime Minister of Pakistan where she put in place a framework for the country`s digitization journey. She also played a key role in ensuring Pakistan`s Covid-19 data driven response strategy as part of the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC);Tasneem Aslam a Pakistani career diplomat who formerly served as the spokesperson of Ministry of Foreign Affairs. After joining the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1984, she served in missions in New Delhi, The Hague and Paris before serving as ambassador to Italy between 2007-2010 and to the Kingdom of Morocco in 2012. She served as the Additional Foreign Secretary for European Affairs from August 2013 till December 2013.
The enlightening panel discussion was followed by a question and answers session and high tea.
It may be recalled that this is the second in the series of annual panel discussions initiated by HUM Network in conjunction with International Women’s Day. The first took place last year at Governor House, Karachi. Like last year, this year too, the event will precede a grand HUM Women Leaders Award programme that will take place the following day.