Women around the world are standing tall as leading-edge innovators and powerhouses for ideas and thoughts. What better way to listen to their achievements than by hosting a TEDx event dedicated entirely to them? And so the young women of Kinnaird College were given the opportunity to listen to the experiences and work of four inspiring women and three extremely smart young ladies.
With the wall adorned with WOMEN in blood red and the faces of many that do our kind proud, the LCD was paid visits by women from America, Egypt and Afghanistan. The first to come was Piya Sorcar, the CEO and founder of TeachAIDS, an organization that is striving to raise awareness about HIV through socially acceptable ways, animated cartoons! And to make them more likable they are voiced over by none-other than celebrities. Closer to home, celebrities who have lent their voices are Shabana Azmi, Shruti Hassan and Mahesh Bhatt. The uniqueness of the idea has made health-ed about taboo topics more accessible and attainable all over the world.
Up next was Shamila Kohestani, former captain of the first Women’s Afghan National Soccer Team. An Afghanistani in an above the knee sleeveless dress? Yeah, take that you Burqa enforcing Taliban. Shamila is a classic example of breaking barriers and social conformity. She talked about her life in war-ridden Afghanistan, being beaten in the streets by Taliban soldiers, not being allowed to study, all because she belonged to the fairer sex. Her story is one echoed by thousands of other women in Afghanistan. She said hope was one stable factor in her life, that and her passion for soccer. Both have paved the way for Shamila to live in the States, and pursue a college degree. Are hope and passion the only keys to success? They may not be the only ones, but Shamila is testament to the fact that they do work wonders. Who would’ve though a country like Afghanistan would have a women soccer team? Shamila made it possible.
And then came Tiffany Shlain, with a mission to promote “Interdependence”. Her belief? That technology has helped us ‘connect’ better with one another. And who wouldn’t agree with her, all of us have some experience of connecting with the help of technology. After all, aren’t we all part of the global village? We are now connected in an intricate maze of ideas and thoughts from all over the world. But do we have any idea what profound impact this connectedness has on each one of us. Information for all, that’s a pretty good concept. And if brought to good use, there’s no stopping the innovative power the world can produce.
After a five-minute break, comments on the Facebook style comment form, and a brief “Interdependence” photo session, the rest of the talks were streamed.
Shahira Amin, an Egyptian journalist talked about the evolution of the female role in Egypt and the importance that they now hold in the workings of the country. She said, “Women are the future of the new Egypt; they will lead, and men will follow.”
And to prove that women do have the potential and the drive to achieve the highest goals if they dare, three extremely young women, (young enough to leave the attendees feeling a tad bit un-intellectual) Lauren Hodge, Shree Bose and Naomi Shah, all winners of the Google Science Fair Winners took the stage, or the screen, to be technically correct. Carcinogens in grilled chicken, Chemotherapy developments and the relationship between air quality and the lung health of asthmatic patients, these topics have been researched by these girls, the oldest being 19, the youngest 13.
So are there any limits to the power of the female? Maybe, but we’ll probably break them all now that we’re on a roll. The attendees of the event left with motivated souls. There’s faith, after all, in mankind, at least when there’s a woman to steer it.
Pictures courtesy of Aida Hafeez