TEDx Lahore Women Amplifies Empowering Narratives from Exceptional Women

Lahore, [22 January, 2024] – The latest edition of the TEDx Lahore Women 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 Maati TV; Fatima Amjed, Dance Teacher and Performer; Tania Aidrus, Co-Founder and CEO of D Global 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 TEDx Lahore Women, Irteza Ubaid praised the speakers for their resilience and their path-breaking work. “TEDx Lahore Women 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 TEDx Lahore Women 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.”

TEDx Lahore Women successfully created a platform for meaningful conversations, collaboration, and inspiration.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events thatbring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TED Talks videoand live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. TheTED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-dayconference in California 30 years ago, TED has grown to support its mission with multipleinitiatives. The two annual TED Conferences invite the world’s leading thinkers and doers tospeak for 18 minutes or less. Many of these talks are then made available, free, at TED.com.TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir RichardBranson, Nandan Nilekani, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Sal Khan and Daniel Kahneman.

The annual TED Conference takes place each spring in Vancouver, British Columbia. TED’s media initiatives include TED.com, where new TED Talks are posted daily; the OpenTranslation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as translationsfrom volunteers worldwide; the educational initiative TED-Ed. TED has established theannual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world get helptranslating their wishes into action; TEDx, which supports individuals or groups in hostinglocal, self- organized TED-style events around the world, and the TED Fellows program,helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to amplify the impact of theirremarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter (http://twitter.com/TEDTalks), or onFacebook (http://www.facebook.com/TED).

About the British Council
The British Council is the UK’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities. We build connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language. Last year we reached over 80 million people directly and 791 million people overall, including online, broadcasts and publications. Founded in 1934 we are a UK charity governed by Royal Charter and a UK public body. We receive a 15 per cent core funding grant from the UK government.
For more information, please visit www.britishcouncil.pk

Speaker Profiles

1. Izza Farrakh
Izza Farrakh is a Senior Education Specialist in the South Asian region at the World Bank where she works on improving foundational learning levels across provinces.

2. Tania Adrius
Tania Adrius, Former advisor to the Prime Minister,orchestrated the Digital Pakistan strategy, fostering rapid digitization. A keyarchitect of Pakistan’s acclaimed COVID-19 response, she contributed to the National Command and Operations Center (NCOC) data-driven strategy.

3. Fatima Amjed
Moving to a world where the art of semi-classical dance takes form, dedicated instructor, seamlessly blending tradition with innovation in her teachings. As a playwright and director, her creative journey has found its zenith in the founding of “Baeyyet,” a distinguished theater production that reflects her commitment to fostering the performing arts.

4. Risham Waseem
Rishamhas a flair for storytelling; but not just any story. Using her platform to curate discussions on climate, justice and gender equality- she is interested in understanding more about the global trends in the information industry. Having worked as a digital communication strategist for the office of United NationalHuman Rights Commission, she designed digital strategies and products for the Special Rapporteur on freedom of peaceful assembly and association and currently works as a director at Mativ TV.

5. Nadia Jamil:

For the love of animals and acting-Nadia Jamil is a woman with diverse interests which have had a profound impact on society. Nadia Jamil is an award winning British Pakistani actor, activist, who works and campaigns for children’s rights. She is also a certified NLP Master Practitioner, Hypnotherapist and TLT Practitioner.

6. Kristin K. Hawkins
Ms. Kristin K. Hawkins, the 34th U.S. Consul General in Lahore, is a career member of the U.S. Foreign Service and most recently served as the Coordinator for Economic and Development Assistance at the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. In that role, she oversaw efforts relating to planning and implementing U.S. civilian assistance programs in Pakistan. Ms. Hawkins also previously worked in Pakistan from 2015 to 2017 in the U.S. Embassy’s Public Diplomacy Section, where she managed academic and professional exchange programs and coordinated media engagements.

7. Ayesha Raza
Ayesha Raza Farooq serves as the second Chairperson of the National Commission on the Rights of Child (NCRC). She has been a member of Pakistan’s National Assembly and also the Senate of Pakistan. She has served as Chairperson of Senate Committees on Delegated Legislation and Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges. She has also notably led the Pakistan Polio Program in Pakistan as Prime Minister’s Focal Person and won the Sitara-e-Imtiaz in recognition of her efforts towards polio eradication, showcasing her commitment to public health and children welfare.

8. Farheen Raza Jaffery
Having shared the stage with icons like Ali Sethi and Mekaal Hassan, our next speaker aspires to craft music that bridges borders and resonates with hearts across the globe. Whether weaving soulful covers or composing her own ghazals, her music reflects the same versatility that defines her journey, a tapestry woven with threads of melody, business acumen, and artistic intuition. Farheen Raza Jaffry, a vocalist trained under the esteemed Ustaad Nasiruddin Saami, possesses a voice that transcends genres with its soulful depth and evocative power.

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