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Pakistani wunderkind: College graduate with book to her name

Urwa Hameed possessed two attributes aplenty growing up in small-town Pakistan; zest and inspiration.

According to a report in Yahoo, while taking resort to both, the 18-year-old is on the cusp of graduating with a dual degree in political science and international studies from Boston College. Early next year, she will be joining her own nonprofit organization for six months to aid immigrants in documenting their tax returns. In addition, she is the author of a book on her country of origin’s female politicians. Presently she is preparing for a potential entry to law school.

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Her drive and the necessity of educating herself ingrained by her father, she overcame obstacles like excessive summer heat, lack of proper power and potable water supplies and the sheer distance of her school growing up in a rural, conservative setting near Multan.

Later she relocated to Pakistan’s capital to obtain higher education. Just when her family was on the cusp of immigrating to the US, her father passed away. Put in middle school in her new adopted country, she had to face the fact that she considered herself an advanced student given she had studied some of this coursework in Pakistan prior to her arrival. She felt her studies were unfulfilling and not demanding enough.

For her book, she made three trips to Pakistan. “Steering Toward Change: Women Politicians Challenging Patriarchy, Class and Power in Pakistan” is independently-published, but the research comprises profiling and interviewing 45 Pakistani female politicians.

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About her book, Hameed states that her interviewees defeated patriarchal mindsets to move forward in a country where politics is seen as a male domain, off-limits to women. Women have to work hard to protect their gains. Their concerns are not reflected in politics, thus providing the motivation to represent themselves.


To read the original report, click here



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