March 22: IBA Marketing Club hosted a women empowerment workshop, 'Lemonade with Tanzila Khan', at Students Centre, IBA Main Campus. Ms. Tanzila Khan is a motivational speaker, a change-maker and an activist. The core areas of discussion, which Tanzila named as "MENU" were Confidence Building, Career, Relationships, Personal Grooming, Activism, Problem Solving and Communication along with many activities.
Along with Tanzila Khan the motivational speakers' panel consisted of some renowned personalities; Umm e Kulsoom - associated with Television and Radio for more than 5 years, Rabia Anam - a newscaster at GEO NEWS, Hina Khwaja Bayat - an anchor, columnist and one of the most versatile actors in Pakistan and Faiza Saleem - a stand-up comedian.
The session not only provided a mentorship session for women but it had a lot more to offer, which majorly included social engagement where women from different walks of life came together and shared their experience with each other. Tanzila Khan herself shared her views about being brought up as a disabled child in this society and how society looks down at such people. Adding on to this she said "There are no employment opportunities for disabled people, other than begging and that's the taboo of the society, which I am here to break." Defying the odds against disability, she said that she believed an individual can be anything; a writer, poet, artist, etc. and therefore she chose to become a motivational speaker, a writer and much more.
Tanzila wrote her first book, 'A story of Mexico' at 16 and then went on to publish her second book, 'The Perfect Situation'. She has sold her books to fund community projects in the fields of disability, women empowerment, education and environment. She has also spoken on many national and International forums.
She narrated her own story and told the participants about how she battled with depression. According to her happiness comes from within. She also urged women to focus on honing their writing skills and pursue it as a profession, to contribute towards the country and to voice their opinions etc. She went on to talk about the limited employment opportunities for disabled people in Pakistan, adding that if disabled people were given equal opportunities, they could contribute a lot making Pakistan one of the most successful nations in the world.
"Passion, persistence and patience are the key to success", said Tanzila. She also said that everyone wants to be famous but it is crucial to be useful and contribute towards the betterment of the country rather than just being famous. Fun activities such as 'live lemonade' being made were what made the session so lively and motivational.
The panelist Hina Khwaja Bayat and Faiza Saleem also talked about the role of women in the society and the obstacles women in our society face. They both highlighted the issue of women representation on different forums in Pakistan; be it acting, art, media, marketing, finance, etc. Addressing the participants, Hina said "One should focus on solutions to achieve the ultimate goals and try to overcome obstacles. These obstacles are faced by Pakistani women on different forums and I believe we have the spirit to overcome it".
Faiza Saleem said that she left her career as a lawyer to become a comedian because that was her true calling. She said, "I would be lying if I said it's not difficult to be a female standup comedian because people tend to be more conservative about my jokes as opposed to my male counterparts.
The participants were also provided with snacks, photography and an opportunity to discuss problems which life threw at them and the solutions to overcome them.
Certificates were also distributed among the participants by Tanzila and the panelists. It was surely an empowering session and we hope to experience more sessions like this in the future.
Tanzila Khan has been working to empower individuals for more than 5 years. Keeping her disability aside she seeks to help people make a difference in their attitude and enjoy life. After running her own production company Creative Alley, she excelled at marketing, public speaking and soft skills. Tanzila has been training and advocating about living a happy, healthy and impactful life. She has worked with Global Change-makers, Oxfam, Idara e Taleem o Aghahi and many others.