Breaking Barriers: Women Achievers Talk Equality feat.artist Soraya Sikander

SPECIAL: EASTERN EYE interviews Women Achievers on Women’s Day to promote gender equality

WHAT WOMEN WANT  International Women’s Day Seeks to promote gender equality

by Asjad Nazir

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is pledge for parity. Although the annual event will be a celebration of women’s achievements across the world, there will also be a global call for gender equality in every sphere of life, from everyday activities to the work place.  This includes helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, and realise their limitless potential.

With that in mind, Eastern Eye asked 21 talented women from around the world who have been breaking barriers to give their unique insight into the topic of gender inequality.  eguide women1



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SORAYA SIKANDER (Artist) “Success is a gradual process. If you have talent, your gender is secondary. I have not personally felt limited or faced direct opposition or obstacles in pursuing my vision. The biggest challenge in a woman’s success is her own mind – a certain self-imposed limitation and a fear of being too ambitious or thinking big. So women should not limit themselves. They should pursue their visions, develop ideas, execute them, start businesses, pursue their dreams, push themselves beyond the limit, break comfort zones, choose unique career paths and create opportunities for themselves. Work to the point where you are known by what you do. Follow your inner voice and let that be your guide, as it will lead you to where you should be.” 

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FEATURED InterviewsTasha Tah (singer/songwriter), Niti Taylor (actress), Annie Khalid (singer), Dal Dhaliwal (fitness expert, TV/radio host), Urvah Khan (singer/songwriter), Rohini Iyer (CEO Raindrop media), Laxmi Hariharan (author and media marketer), Japjit Kaur (singer/actress), Soraya Sikander (artist), Raj Girn (CEO Anokhi Media), Sanyya Gardez (TV host), Piali Ray OBE (director of Sampad Arts), Jacqueline Fernandez (actress), Serena Chaudhry (TV news producer, Reuters), Saima Ajram (radio host), Fozia Uddin (university commercial contracts manager), Gauhar Khan (actress/TV personality), Priyanka Chopra (actress), Huma Qureshi (actress), Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, Preetika Rao (actress/singer)

Published by unicorngallery

Leading art gallery of Pakistan, Unicorn Gallery was Founded by art critic Seemah Niaz. Unicorn specialises in the history of Pakistani and Indian painting and has presented works by some of the most distinguished South Asian painters including Ustad Allahbux, Abdur Rahman Chughtai, Ahmed Parvez, Bashir Mirza, Colin David, F N Souza, Gulgee, Jehangir Sabavala, Krishen Khanna, M F Husain, Murtaza Bashir, S H Raza, Shakir Ali and Vasudeo S. Gaitonde. Unicorn has a high reputation for the quality of its exhibitions, Annual Art Book Fair exclusive to Unicorn, art scholar talks and documentary screenings. Unicorn is also active in the preservation of the history of regional painting by way of a prolific production of art monographs and books. Unicorn Gallery has hosted retrospectives of major masters including: Sadequain’s Rubbiyats, Jameel Ahmed A Forgotten Master, Ghulam Rasul - Pakistan’s most influential landscape painter and most recently Laila Shahzada a life - The legacy of a pioneer of modern painting in Pakistan. Unicorn Gallery was Founded by Seemah Niaz. Unicorn Gallery specializes in Modern and Contemporary South Asian Art and has a high reputation for the quality of its exhibitions, annual art book fairs, lectures, documentary screenings, launches, seminars, internships and other opportunities. Unicorn Gallery holds numerous thought-provoking exhibitions in collaboration with curators, art galleries, museums, institutes and organizations, and sources to auction houses. We encourage scholarly research and exploration of art as seen from its historical, cultural, and social contexts with art critics and historians. The gallery produces its own exhibitions including traveling shows, introduces new art publications and hosts retrospectives of major painters as well as represents emerging artists, who experiment in a wide-range of media, display technical skill, diversity in portfolio and are innovative in approach. Unicorn Gallery’s exhibitions have encompassed all the visual arts including: painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, serigraphs, photography, architecture, film, video and performance. SEEMAH NIAZ was educated at St.George’s School in London, England and Lahore, Pakistan. She is a M.A previous in English Language and Literature from Punjab University, and B.A. in French and English Literature from Kinnaird College. She has been a freelance journalist and has contributed articles to Herald, Newsline, Dawn, Star etc. She has curated numerous exhibitions on South Asian Art in Dubai, New Delhi, Singapore and London and is the Founder of Unicorn Gallery, Karachi, and Unicorn Space, Dubai. She is widely traveled and has taught at The Lyceum School, St. Patrick’s, Karachi, Westminster College and David Game. Seemah is actively involved in social work, promoting literacy and child health in Pakistan. She is the author of the ‘Mona Naqsh’ biography. Niaz has lectured on Pakistani Art at the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in London.