Meet the 25
The Little Art welcomes 25 young women with stories of resilience, fearlessness, and passion to encourage and inspire millions. The 25 Under 25 Award recognizes young women creating a huge impact on their lives and giving back to the society with their exceptional work.
They are inspirational. They are unapologetic.
They are the 25 under 25.
International Footballer | City: Islamabad | Age: 24
Abiha is the youngest woman footballer to represent Pakistan internationally at the age of 13 and holds many national and international awards and honors. Most recently, Abiha holds 2 Guinness World Records for representing Pakistan in world’s longest football match in France, played for 70 hours straight among 60 nationalities. Out of 809 players from around the world, Abiha was among the 10, and only Pakistani to be selected and sponsored by FIFA to participate in the longest match event. Additionally, Abiha is on her way to graduate with LLB Honors degree from University of London.
Education Activist | City: Karachi | Age: 20
Afreen graduated from an NGO school, Development in Literacy (DIL). She is currently pursing BBA degree from IBA Karachi under National Talent Hunt Program scholarship. From belonging to the second largest slum town of Asia, Orangi Town, Afreen went on to experience academic sector in USA as a school representative. A firm believer of dreams, Afreen is presently working with DIL and Rotaract Club Karachi to promote quality education and provide academic opportunities for marginalized children.
Artist | City: Hyderabad | Age: 23
Aiman’s parents wanted her to become an Aalima, but she wanted to be an artist. While she carried on with what her parents wanted her to become, Aiman worked hard to create a balance between the two. Her love for art made her parents support her in pursuing a different area, and she started working as a freelance artist. Aiman went from Rangoonwala to studying in Federal College of Art and Design, inspiring other girls to follow their dreams. She is also promoting her art through social media platforms and has gained attention from nationally renowned celebrities. She has also successfully displayed her paintings at the Pakistan National Council of Arts.
Children’s Fiction Writer | City: Lahore | Age: 25
Ammarah Shah is the founder of Kaho Kahani, a unique storytelling platform with original content and inspiring stories. She is an MPhil scholar and has researched the potential of storytelling as an educational technique. Being an educationist and social entrepreneur, she soon understood the power of storytelling as a personal grooming tool. She believes that there is a lot of need of an age appropriate content that builds self-accountability among young minds. Ammarah has also designed a storybook about a child’s natural curiosity about the purpose of life that provokes love for planting seeds in young children.
Educationist | City: Jacobabad | Age: 24
Anjili’s father would not let her get an education because he feared for his daughter falling in the hands of people who forced conversion of Hindu girls. However, with persistence and strong determination, she managed to get admission in a bachelor’s program at Sukkur IBA University on full scholarship. Anjili went on to become an alumnus of Harvard Crossroads Emerging Leader’s Program in Dubai in 2017 as well as alumni of Study of United states institutes 2019 program on comparative public policy at University of Massachusetts, USA.
Transwoman Activist | City: Karachi | Age: 21
Aradhiya is a 21-year old Pakistani trans woman activist, blogger and community mobilizer. She has dedicated the past four years of her life towards promoting transgender equality, human rights and social justice. Aradhiya participated as a consultant in the Transgender Protection Bill (2018). In July 2019, Aradhiya was able to push forward with a M.O.U. between Akhuwat and Unilever Pakistan to work on a diversity and inclusion program aimed at creating employment opportunities. In October 2019, she was selected as the youngest transgender participant of the United States (US) State Department-funded International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). In 2020, Aradhiya won Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah & Benazir Bhutto Award by Sindh Commission for the Status of Women, for working actively as a young trans rights activist.
Hockey Player and Coach | City: Jacobabad | Age: 25
Erum was always fond of sports, and would spend her entire pocket money on buying tennis balls or rackets. She wanted to pursue a career in it, however, lack of opportunities, financial resources and non-supportive behavior by the male counterparts in her region made it difficult for her to achieve her dreams. Erum did not want other girls of her area to let go of their dreams, so she saved money over the years and established her own Stars Women Hockey Academy. Two of the girls from her academy also represented Pakistan Education Team’s trip to Thailand and one of them got selected in Pakistan Army Women’s Hockey Team. Three of the girls she trained got selected in University of Central Punjab’s Lahore’s Women hockey team and are doing bachelors free of cost.
Architect | City: Islamabad | Age: 21
Faiqa will be the youngest degree holder architect of Pakistan at the age of 21. She won an honourable mention at International Architectural Workshop, Archiply in 2019. Faiqa is currently working on a thesis project that she believes will form a markable change in the way of Pakistan’s architect community. Her design will showcase minimalist sustainable design and its complex meaning and impact.
Women’s Rights Activist | City: Lahore | Age: 20
Faryal Ashfaq is a women’s rights activist currently running her non-profit organization, The Mirror, which aims to tackle the plague of violence against women in the Pakistani community. With a team of 70+ individuals from all over the country, she employs different trajectories to address the issue. Primarily, these involve providing educational awareness to youth groups and emotional, financial and legal help to survivors of abuse. Some regular initiatives by The Mirror include a local ‘Brown Girls Support Program’ and self-defense training sessions at underprivileged schools. Faryal is also actively involved in the feminist society at LUMS as director of marketing and public relations. Furthermore, she has been in several leadership positions at the regional level in AIESEC, a global platform advancing the sustainable development goals.
Social Activist | City: Karachi | Age: 24
Hani Baloch is a social activist, Human Rights Defender, and a trainer of Basic Fundamental Rights. She also works as a trainer for the physical and mental health of girls, especially menstrual hygiene. Hani has written a book on women’s health issues in Balochi language to create awareness about fistula, postpartum bleeding and post-coitus bleeding. She also acts as a vice-chairperson at Jafa Girls Academy, Lyari and is working to strengthen and empower girls of her region.
Entrepreneur/Social Activist | City: Lahore | Age: 24
Hifza Khan is a young leader, philanthropist, entrepreneur and social activist. She successfully runs her own NGO, Saya-e-Khudaya-e-Zuljalal (SKZ) that pioneered in starting nomad schools in Lahore. She works to provide quality education and skills training to the children of slum areas. Three branches of SKZ Model school are presently active, with hundreds of students getting free education.
Photographer/Transgender Rights Activist | City: Rawalpindi | Age: 24
Hina started her photography career shortly after her matriculation. By the time she got into university, she had created a flourishing career out of her love for photography. Hina initiated a project about transgender rights which led her to create a support program for the transgender community. Hina arranges awareness programs to try to provide funds and equipment to the transgender community so they can work and earn their living.
Architect | City: Quetta | Age: 25
Iqra studied architecture from BUITEMS, Quetta. As a part of Global UGRAD Exchange Program, she designed a public square for Volga City in USA which was sited in 2017. Iqra was also recognized in annual Summit of American Institute of Architects. She was awarded Best Achiever’s Award on International Women’s Day by Governor of Balochistan and an honourable mention by US Embassy in Pakistan and International Research and Exchanges Board.
Filmmaker/Photographer | City: Islamabad| Age: 23
Javaria is a young filmmaker, photographer, and writer who has been working to raise awareness for women’s rights, environmental issues, and Minority Rights in Pakistan. As a student, she stood up against the administration of her university to highlight harassment against students on campus, putting her degree at risk. Javaria was only 19 years old when her documentary, “Littering is not allowed here” was selected and screened at the 8th Karachi Literature Festival, judged by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Sarmad Khoosat, Nadeem Paracha, and Pervez Hoodbhoy. She has also produced two micro music videos for Sleeping At Last, a musical project led by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Ryan O’Neal. Javaria hopes to inspire and empower other women, especially young girls, to raise their voices for what they truly believe in.
Kiran Jewraj Maheshwari
Public Speaker | City: Hyderabad | Age: 21
Kiran hails from Tharparkar, lives in Hyderabad, and works to inspire young women by spreading interfaith peace and harmony. She is a public speaker, creative writer, an orator, part-time tutor, community mobilizer, and doctor in process. Since 2017, Kiran has been training young people on issues like child labour, stress management, and women empowerment.
Mariam Kamal Soofi
Writer/Theatre Actor | City: Lahore | Age: 18
Mariam Soofi is an 18-year-old passionate about writing, painting, and theatre. Additionally, she is an activist with a long list of social work to her credit, including a workshop she organised for creating awareness around victims of sexual abuse. In her debut poetry book, she also touched upon mental illness and depression. As a young girl in a parochial society she had to face many impediments and raised eyebrows to her overt activism for taboo topics from friends and family.
Muscca Sattar Jan Durrani
Virtual Artist | City: Islamabad | Age: 21
Muscca is a visual artist belonging to Malakand, Swat. She works in the fields of communication design, painting and photography, with occasional public speaking. Muscca uses art to tackle social issues including gender equality, climate change, poverty and hunger. Muscca was selected by “We the People, We the Arts” among few others to work against gender discrimination and equality for all, based on UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. Musca volunteers to provide education to young girls of more than 3 villages. She teaches them digital skills, chemistry, physics, lessons about woman empowerment and speaking up for their rights.
Stand-up Comedian/Entrepreneur | City: Islamabad | Age: 12
Raheen is the youngest professional female stand-up comedian of Pakistan. At just age 12, she has already performed at Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA). Raheen is also a theatre actress and has performed at Children’s Literature Festival, on themes related to underage marriages, child abuse, gender equality and child rights.
She is also the youngest social entrepreneur ever selected in National Incubation Center Pakistan (NIC) and has her own social startup. Raheen has conducted over 100 online interviews of renowned national and international personalities including Anima Patil-Sabale – Space Engineer NASA, Kurt A. Krueger – Senior Olympic Swimming Champion, Alyy Khan – Actor, to name a few. Raheen is passionate about learning and networking and is always exploring opportunities to create a better place for the people around her.
Writer | City: Lahore | Age: 22
At 16, Sahar was diagnosed with Autoimmune Hepatitis which resulted in her weight gain, hair loss, fatigue, depression and constant pain. After having to take a year off from school, Sahar came back with renewed zeal and ended up topping in her International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) examinations, placing her amongst the top 6% of students in the world. Today, Sahar is studying to be a teacher so she can be the beacon of support for her students, like her teachers have been for her. She is also writing a book about her experiences to help and inspire others like her who are in a constant battle with disease, depression and pain.
Cyclist, Activist | City: Skardu | Age: 22
Saira is a cyclist, a traveler, a blogger and a climate activist. She is the only cyclist from Skardu who made it to the HEC Women Cycling Championship and secured a gold medal. As a child, Saira would dress up as a boy, just so she could go out without the fear of being stopped.
Her work focuses on building interfaith harmony and inclusion by bridging the gap between different communities. Saira has recently completed her training on ‘investigative journalism and digital security’ from Jakarta, Indonesia.
She is also passionate about animal and human rights and documents their issues and struggles under her social media accounts. Saira has volunteered for more than twenty organizations and has worked on different community engagement programs, catering social, and global issues.
Advocate | City: Lahore | Age: 24
Samiyah Zafar is an advocate working in the courts of Lahore. She studied law from Punjab University Law College. A completely self-made woman, she is an executive member of Pakistan Association of Justice (PAJ), an organization working for the rights of underprivileged people. She started her career a year ago and now speaks up for the rights of women in the court of law who are not able to do so due to financial constraints. Samiyah aims to do something for the rights of street children in Pakistan.
Women’s Right/Child Rights/Girl’s Education Activist | City: Karachi | Age: 21
Shama Brohi is a women’s rights, child rights, and girl’s education activist. She is the first girl in her community to pursue higher education and uses a bike as a mode for her transportation. Shama was also elected as a member of the Sindh Provincial Youth Assembly. She is co-founder of Niyari Education and Development Organization (NEDO) and runs a non-profit school by the name of Khadija Primary School at Khuda Ki Basti district Jamshoro.
Space Educator | City: Lahore | Age: 22
Yumna Majeed is a space educator and founder of Exploration – a space education-based social enterprise in Lahore. She has worked as a student ambassador and national coordinator of different international space organizations over the last four years. She cherishes the vision of making astronomy accessible to the students and public of Pakistan, along with empowering young girls in STEM fields. She has studied Medical Laboratory Technology and aspires to be an astronaut and geneticist.
Female Youtuber | City: Quetta | Age: 25
Zainab is a Quetta’s 1st female Youtuber. She has always wanted to do something unique to bring positive changes and inspire other girls of her city. When Zainab started vlogging, she faced a lot of criticism from the people around her; but she did not lose determination and kept making videos to promote a positive image of her region, changing people’s opinions about women and vlogging in Quetta. Zainab was the protagonist of the film Udaan, which won an award for Best Film at Baluchistan Azadi Festival in 2017. She has represented Baluchistan twice in Izhar by Film Fellowship by 60 Seconds Intl. Film Festival in 2017 and 2019. Currently, Zainab is the Head of Public Relations at the International Student Week, held in Pakistan for the first time in 2019.
Environmental Activist/Entrepreneur | City: Sargodha | Age: 14
Zymal Umar is the founder of an inspiring social project called Zee Bags — an endeavor that not only aims to help the underprivileged but also the environment. In an attempt to clear the streets from plastic bags, Zymal decided to start making reusable bags using old newspapers. Being Pakistan’s youngest social entrepreneur, Zymal has been awarded the TIE, the youngest entrepreneurship award and received a gold medal from the Federal Secretary of Education in Pakistan. Her efforts have also been recognized in Saudi Arabia, where she was invited to receive the Prince Abdul Aziz Award for Children Pioneer/Ecopreneur.