The army's media wing on Thursday released a video commemorating Women's Day which shows women from various walks of life taking on different roles, particularly those that are traditionally dominated by men.
Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) tweeted the video along with a statement from Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Jawed Bajwa, saying: "We are proud of [the] role and contributions of our women in uniform, back home and especially the ones who belong to martyrs’ families. The great Pakistani women have a role and responsibility towards progress of Pakistan."
The depth and breadth of the roles and responsibilities women take on in our society are showcased in the video, titled "Mujhe Agey Jana Hai".
Women are shown excelling in physically challenging activities such as mountaineering, martial arts, boxing, cricket, athletics, hockey, rugby, soccer and squash. Prominent sports figures showcased in the video include the fastest woman in South Asia, Naseem Hameed, and members of the women's cricket team, football and hockey teams.
Prominent social workers and activists such as Ruth Pfau, Bilquis Edhi, Malala Yousafzai and Muniba Mazari are shown in the video.
Women are depicted as valuable members of our country's armed forces, taking on infantry and counter-terror roles, and flying fighter jets. The ISPR video highlights the contributions of Shahida Malik, Shahida Badshah and Nigar Johar, each of whom served as an army general.
The video also shows women in politics, including former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, former National Assembly speaker Fahmida Mirza, Pakistan's envoy to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi and Fatima Jinnah.
The role of entertainers such as Sufi singer Abida Parveen, Nazia Hasan, Noor Jehan, Misha Shafi, and Farida Khanum is also highlighted.
However, despite the 'progressive' message the video attempts to get across, women are also displayed in traditionally feminine roles ─ cooking, working in the kitchen and taking care of their families ─ as daughters, mothers and sisters.
The song features powerful lyrics such as "Lachar naheen, taaqat hoon mein, kamzor naheen, himmat hoon mein (I am not helpless, I am strength; I am not weak, I am courage)" in a nod to the spirit and resilience of women.
On the occasion of Women's Day, an Aurat March ─ organised at Karachi's Frere Hall at 4pm by a collective of women known as 'Hum Aurtein' ─ is being held to demand reproductive, economic and environmental justice.
'Hum Aurtein' comprises women of diverse social classes, ethnicities and sections of society, and includes not just organisers but also participants of the event.