Emma Alam has made the country proud by winning the 13th World Speed Reading Championship., beating more than 100 competitors from all over the world.

Another Pakistani, Abeerah Athar, came in 4th position. Apart from this, Pakistani females grabbed 3rd and 4th position in the 12th World Mind Mapping Championship.

FOR THOSE who are unaware, speed reading is not an easy competition as one has to read, comprehend and retain information at the same time. After being given a maximum of two hours to read a book, participants have to answer 20 questions designed by the author to prove they read and understood the information.

Emma read the book at an extraordinary pace of 789 words per minute, which equates to 20 minutes and 4 seconds, and scored 97% in the comprehensive section.

This is indeed a significant achievement in the backdrop of harassment, violence and suppression.

In Pakistan, it is considered that men are the guardians of women and therefore they neither acknowledge female agency nor allow them to pursue their dreams and aspirations.

These achievements show that women do have potential and when given the opportunity can excel in anything they set their minds to.

This will go a long way in encouraging others to pursue their dreams. Moreover, it puts Pakistan on the map and portrays a positive image of what the world considers a backward and repressive country.

Our society must do away with the conservative mindset regarding females and recognize their identity as humans and as equal citizens.

In order to foster women participation, the state must encourage more and more women to participate in global competitions. Those who do must be provided adequate facilities and finding in case there is a need to train or travel.

The incumbent government must actively look to create more and more opportunities specifically for females.

Women in Pakistan have already shown that they can excel when given the opportunity. It is time we streamlined their efforts and gave them autonomy and freedom they deserve.

The World Students Society thanks The Editorial Board, The Express Tribune.


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