The LadiesFund President Tara Uzra Dawood welcomed the guests, including in her speech recognition of the support Pakistani men are showing women, “Not enough can be said about the exceptional men who are joining us today, in larger numbers than ever before, come out to celebrate and support the women in their lives and who are making our country world class. We not only are hosted this evening by the Honourable Governor of Sindh who will be joining us a little later, but once again the State Bank Governor is here in recognition of the important contribution of women entrepreneurs and professionals to the economy of Pakistan.”
The Lifetime Achievement Award winners, Ava Cowasjee & Dr. Sania Nishtar graced the occasion. Cowasjee is well known in the shipping industry and for her philanthropy, while Dr. Nishtar is Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on poverty alleviation and flew in from Islamabad for the event. National Anthem was sung by pop single Jana Nazabeth and a special classical dance performance was by Anjaleen Maryam Agrawalla.
Governor Sindh Presented LadiesFund® Idol Award to winner Sameena Kumari Pirbho from Tharparkar. Other winners included People’s Choice winners organic beautypreneur Myra Qureshi (Trailblazer), event planner Anisa Rashid Khan (Momentum) and child abuse prevention activist Frieha Altaf (Women of the Year), all of whom are great contributors to the economy. This year’s judges who finalized thes late of nominees included past LAadiesFund winners Yasmeen Lari (2016), Ameena Saiyid (2012), Simi Kamal (2016) & Noorjehan Bilgrami (2015). Voting was viral via online, radio and television reaching over 100 million homes.
Other pre-announced awards included Pakistani Hoor (Pioneer) – a beggar turned entrepreneur who is training other female beggars in her hometown of Makli to become entrepreneurs, Uzma Noorani (Angel) and craftpreneur Bushra Imran (Entrepreneur in the Spotlight).
Dr. Abida Sattar gave a short presentation on breast cancer awareness.
There was an introduction of Educate a girl by deserving scholars with special thanks on stage to French Consul General Didier Talpain and Fundraising Chair Nazneen Tariq Khan.
An International Fellowship was awarded to Tooba Rashid to travel to Germany for World Business Dialogue and presented on stage by German Consul General Eugen Wollsforth. She was joined on stage by past international fellows Rabia Khamani, Sonia Kamnani, Alina Makhani, Rabiya Hafeez, Syeda Humaira Anwaar, Konmal Gopi, Sindhiya Kirshan & Naina Rani, as well as British Deputy Head of Mission Mark Rakestraw.
This year’s Bachelors Scholarship to Iqra University were awarded for Maica Mary (Governor House Nurse’s Daughter), with tuition cheque presented on stage to IU representative Asad Hussain.
Spotted at the event were Begum Governor Reema Imran, Senator Khushbakht Shujaat, Senator Nasreen Jalil, Amin Gulgee, Khalid Mirza, Deepak Perwani, Mina Hasan, Ali Rashid, as well as various diplomats, socialites and dynamic women achievers.