_By Shafaq Mansoor
“Men may be stronger but it is women who endure” -Cassandra Clare
Gender stereotyping in our society has left women with lesser opportunities to achieve their dreams. They are told that they are dependent on men in every field; either for security or financial reasons.
However, some women have risen above and faced the challenges despite not having the means to make their journey easy.
Just recently I heard about Nargis Gul, an orphaned girl from Chitral, who scored top marks in the Punjab board exams. Her father had passed away a couple of years ago, leaving Nargis and her mother with nothing but a tent and no steady source of income. However, Nargis had a strong love for education and a desire to learn which pulled her through as she managed to stay in school. A bright and ambitious student, Nargis gained media attention when she scored the highest marks in the province despite her circumstances. In an interview she spoke about her struggles mentioning that during the monsoon rains, the water used to enter her tent soaking her books. But she remained committed to her goal.
Her hard work finally paid off when she topped the matriculation board exams in the Punjab province and as a reward received monetary compensation worth five lakhs and a laptop from the Punjab government.
What I found most interesting about her is that she is clearly focused on her goals. For example, when asked about the reward she said that she’d prefer it if the government cover her education costs as a reward rather than giving her a laptop. She is ambitious, and aspires to become a doctor.
Her inspiring story symbolizes that any woman can achieve her dreams and her gender does not need to be a hindrance; ultimately it is her hard work that will determine her success or failure.