Two Pakistani women, Federal Minister for Climate Change Sherry Rehman and Supreme Court judge Justice Ayesha Malik, made it to the recently published Forbes’ 50 Over 50: Asia 2023 list recognising 50 women over age 50 from Asia-Pacific who are reaching new heights in their industries and inspiring the region’s next generation.
According to Forbes, the list introduces women working across technology, pharmaceuticals, art and politics and beyond who are “proving that success comes at any age”.
Rehman featured on the list for her leading role at the 2022 UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) for a ‘loss and damage’ fund, to channel money from rich countries to poor ones that have suffered climate-related disasters.
The 62-year-old influential woman is a former journalist, information minister and ambassador to the United States. Rehman was the first female to hold office as leader of the Opposition in the Senate in 2018. She was appointed the country’s federal minister for climate change in April, 2022.
Rehman has received various awards, including Pakistan’s highest civil award, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz. She co-authored ‘Five Hundred Years of The Kashmiri Shawl’, published in 2006, and was awarded the RL Shep Textiles Book Award from the Textile Society of America.
In 2022, Rehman was also named among the 25 most influential women in 2022 by the Financial Times.
Alongside Rehman, Justice Malik, too, made it to the coveted Forbes’ list.
The 56-year-old Supreme Court judge became the first woman to serve as a justice of Pakistan’s top court last year in the country’s 75-year history.
Justice Malik previously served for a decade as a judge for the Lahore High Court, ruling on the enforcement of international arbitration in Pakistan and sat on the Green Bench, advocating environmental justice, according to her brief profile provided by Forbes.
In 2021, Justice Malik issued a seminal judgement outlawing the use of virginity tests in rape cases. She also served on the board of the Punjab Judicial Academy and as chair of the Judicial Officers Female Supervisory Committee.
In December, 2022, Justice Malik also featured in the BBC’s 100 Women 2022 list. She was the only Pakistani woman to make it to the BBC list of 100 influential and inspiring women from around the world.
“Women must build a new narrative — one that includes their perspective shares their experience, and includes their stories,” Justice Malik had said on being included in the revered list.