Dare to Dream: Women on a Journey of Achievement Against the Odds

By Derin Baqi

In a world where empowerment is evolving faster than ever, women are starting to follow the path of success. An outstanding group of women have decided to take the opportunity to rewrite the narrative for women’s academic excellence. We cannot describe them as “just students”, but rather as creators of their dreams, the wielders of knowledge, and leaders of their destiny. We always get to see things from an outside perspective, but do we ever just stop and think about what they have lost, sacrificed, and faced throughout the journey?
As upsetting as it is, women do not live as freely as men, and while we are living in a world of patriarchy, women are often being controlled and decided for by men.
So where does that leave us?
Are we supposed to drop our education because “you will soon marry, so education will not work for you”?
Are we supposed to give up on our goals and dreams because “you are only meant to be carers and housemakers”?
Yes, that still exists, and much more than you think it does.

Nurturing Two Kids, a Job, and a Master’s Degree

Being able to raise two children while working a full-time job and studying for your master’s degree is a massive thing to even think about, let alone do. Mrs. Aryan Sabir, a business master’s student at UKH, has done the impossible.
“It was extremely hard to balance the work and study lives, and the most upsetting part for me was not having enough time to spend with my two lovely children,” she mentioned.

Aryan Sabir

Raising kids is a responsibility for both parents; however, we all know that, in reality, the backbone of raising the kids is the mother. Mrs. Aryan added “I couldn’t have done this without my husband; he was my biggest supporter and helped me a lot with the kids”, but dear readers, I’m sure you all know how remarkable mother care is to their children, and no number of hours a day is enough.

Aryan’s family

Mrs. Aryan will not be just a successful woman thriving for her dreams; she will also be a huge role model to her kids. Taking care of kids and doing housework is also a full-time job at home, so do you think you’d be able to handle two jobs and a master’s degree like Aryan? I’m assuming that after her story, you’re assured that even if you thought you couldn’t, you can.

Aryan’s graduation

Mastering Motherhood and Beyond: A Journey to Empowerment

Mrs. Chawan Qadir, a business master’s student, is another strong woman who is pursuing her work and study life along with motherhood. Listening to Chawan’s answers throughout the interviews, I got a massive feeling of feminism and woman empowerment, because this is what feminism is all about: supporting other women to follow their dreams and showing them that they can do it.
“I’ve always tried my best to show my female friends that they are capable of doing much more and that they should chase their goals,” Mrs. Chawan mentioned. Can you realise how reassuring and powerful it is for this speech to come from a woman who is living up to the stress of doing everything flawlessly all at the same time but still succeeds?

When I went on to ask Chawan about the bias and discrimination she may have encountered in life, she responded, “When I would ask my manager if I could leave 10 minutes earlier, he would start asking personal questions and also offend me by saying, “Are you even able to manage your time? (We all know these questions wouldn’t be asked if I were a man who also held on to the same tasks as me.)”
I agree with her to a great extent.

People are so quick to look down on the efforts and capabilities of married women with or without children, assuming that they can only handle one task at a time. However, the more people I have discussed this issue with, the more I have come to the realisation that women are capable of handling pressure and having a stable time management agenda better than men. Mrs. Chawan is a great example to prove that no matter what gender, status, or responsibilities you have, you can do it.

Chawan Qadir and Landy

To end her part, she said, “My advice to all women: you can do it; if I was capable of doing all these things in just a day, you can do it too. Do not listen to anyone, and do not let anyone demotivate you, so once you have a goal, work for it because no one knows how strong you are until you show them.”

Chawan’s graduation

Unleashing the Power Within

Mrs. Begard Salih, a UKH employee at the registration department, a master’s student at the EMBA, a wife, and a mother, has taken the route to be a great example of the successful women of UKH. Ms. Begard has a strong opinion that if society starts to encourage women and accept the reality that women are also capable of making a big change and having a positive impact on the education system, then leadership roles will also be more successful and creative.

Begard Salih

Same as Ms. Hind Saber, an EMBA student who holds a senior position in a well-known international NGO, who talked about empowerment, saying, “Women empowerment means ensuring that women have equal opportunities, rights, and representation in various aspects of life, promoting their autonomy and well-being.” If we shed light on what women always ask from this society, it’s always acceptance and the space to let them just live the way they want to. Ms. Hind took the chance to leave her city and rent an apartment in another city far away from her family to follow her dreams and find a proper education for herself.

Hind Saber

However, dear readers, keep that in mind: these are a group of smart yet lucky ones as well. It’s incredibly upsetting to get myself to write the word “lucky” because a woman being able to pursue her dreams should be normal rather than “lucky”. We live in a place where women are being decided for, married off to random people, and killed in the name of “honour”. There is a significant number of girls who cannot get an education because their father, brother, or husband do not allow them to, and on top of that, society always reminds them that women’s main jobs and focus should be “caregivers and homemakers.” There are always those expectations that everyone around the woman should come before the woman herself; she should always be a sacrifice for her close people’s dreams. The bitter truth is that usually most women have to take on jobs to help their partner support their kids and provide for the family; however, she always works double. How is that? Women work outside just like their husbands do, then come home and have to work double as much as their husbands. Truly good men will help, but they will never be able to hold the family, take care of the house, and look after the kids all at once, as a woman does.
Let us cherish our women and appreciate what they do for their families, society, and especially themselves. Encouraging women around you and raising kids of your own can be a great way to start normalising what should’ve always been very normal; let them pursue, do, and live whatever they desire. Women are the other gender, and no gender should ever be prioritised or decided for by the other one. Let’s love, appreciate, and support every woman who is following her dreams and working her best to achieve her goals in life, no matter how different they might be from yours.