Zoe

Pakistani Delegation, 2002
Seeds of Peace Fellow, 2016

IMPACT: SOCIAL

Connecting women across borders with mentors in their field.

How are you impacting your community?

I am a lawyer by professional calling currently exploring the private sector and working at Coca-Cola Beverages Pakistan. I am also Director of Society, Policy and Laws at the Knowledge Factory, a community learning space operating in Lahore, and also a part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers community. I have practiced, taught, trained, and researched international humanitarian law and human rights. My participation in the 2002 Seeds of Peace Camp in Maine representing Pakistan shaped my interest in law, international relations, human rights, diversity, and inclusivity.

Belonging to a minority community in Pakistan propelled me to volunteer with several human rights organizations, critically engaging with the construction of identity faced by marginalized communities, especially women and religious minorities. Inspired by technology and innovation in social enterprises, where I witnessed the power of taking scholarship out of the books and sharing stories, I began scripting short videos highlighting the diversity of minorities in Pakistan.

I believe in the power of the youth and millennials, rule of law, structures and solid institutions paving the way forward for Pakistan. My travels, in pursuit of these beliefs, have led me across Pakistan as well as to Nairobi, Paris, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Geneva, New York, Bombay, Amman, Lisbon, Madrid, Almaty, Kanchanaburi, and Bangkok, places where I have presented papers, led panel discussions, and contributed by sharing my perspectives.

My GATHER Fellows project involves the creation of an app for women’s resources. Starting with Pakistan, I plan to connect women in the nascent stages of their careers with women the world-over who are in a position to be mentors. Through this platform, women would make connections, network with other women, and have a common area to share their stories.

“Given that women the world over share many problems in common—unequal pay, juggling work and career, dealing with sexual harassment, familial burdens etc.—I believe in a model that can be replicated in multiple countries, linking women across the world on common lines.”