“I would like to thank The Citizens Foundation, and all of you, for the generosity that you all are showing by paying presence here.
Thankfully, there are organizations dedicated to helping the underprivileged girls. Just look at the incredible work The Citizens Foundation is doing.
One thing that is more important than money is time. I am asking you, no matter how busy you are, to take out some hours from your lives and engage in activities that will help bring a smile on the face of little girl. A little girl who is going to school, and coming back, under horrific conditions. Can you help Abdullah and Anjum Jafri, and this amazing TCF team with the investment of your time? With your intellectual, emotional, and moral support?
For example, you can teach young girls around your daughters, or your friend’s and family’s daughters, to speak up. To reject humiliating and success remarks. Teach them to demand dignity, teach them not to be pressured to hide, or change, their authentic selves. Teach them to stop anyone trying to damn the bright spark of their potential. Teach them to express their feelings fearlessly. Teach them to be assertive when needed and to set boundaries when required. Most importantly, teach them to embrace their gender identity. Don’t be ashamed of being a woman. You should be courageous and take a leadership role. When you do that, you know what is going to happen – “Ask not what you can do for a women, just watch what a women will do for you”.
Now, let us celebrate the doers as accomplished women of Pakistan – living and working outside of Pakistan, all the women in this room.
Dr. Raza is a celebrated figure in the world of medicine, a Director at both Columbia and Rush University and the Chief of Hematology Oncology at the University of Massachusetts. A dedicated oncologist, she had made great strides in cancer research programs.