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There are only a few names as big as Mehwish Hayat when it comes to making the Pakistani brand strong internationally with a special concern about women rights in the country. While in the past she raised awareness for initiatives such as the #MeToo campaign in Pakistan, she also spoke about the powerful women of the country at an international platform recently.

Speaking at the Queen Mary University in London about women empowerment, Mehwish mentioned the female icons of Pakistan – while speaking about Asma Jahangir – who have made Pakistan proud despite cultural norms working against them.

“We have had females who have never gotten scared in the face of repression, intimidation and atrocity,” Mehwish said. “It was an amazing feeling to see women from all walks of life taking part in the funeral procession [of Asma Jahangir] despite it being against the rituals of the land. That shows that the land where I come from, a progressive woman’s life and work has been celebrated and cherished after her death.”

Mehwish was quick to mention other female icons of Pakistan – such as Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto, and Malala Yousafzai as well.

“Before Asma, there was Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto – both who fought for their ideals and stood up against ruthless dictators,” Mehwish said. “Then, there’s Malala, who took it upon herself to speak for what’s right. All of them and countless women in Pakistan, and elsewhere, inspire me everyday.”

Kudos to Mehwish for truly making sure Pakistani legends are never forgotten worldwide!

Check out a snippet from her speech here: