SARA SAEED

CO-FOUNDER OF SEHAT KA­HANI, A PRO­GRAM CON­NECT­ING FE­MALE DOC­TORS WORK­ING FROM HOME WITH PA­TIENTS IN RE­MOTE AR­EAS OF PAK­ISTAN

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On fight­ing the sta­tus quo:

“Fe­male doc­tors in Pak­istan typ­i­cally don’t work after mar­riage due to so­cial and cul­tural con­straints. It’s not ac­cept­able for a woman to get mar­ried and work; it just gets too dif­fi­cult with­out child sup­port and the sup­port of the com­mu­nity. I’m a doc­tor my­self and I grew up with the no­tion that I had to be­come one be­cause it was some­thing my par­ents al­ways thought I should be – It’s pres­ti­gious for a woman to be a doc­tor. But as I left med­i­cal col­lege I re­alised that many women were set­tling down and not go­ing into pro­fes­sional life.”

On smash­ing the glass ceil­ing:

“In Pak­istan we are not used to the ‘woman leader’ con­cept, so con­vinc­ing men around me as part­ners, col­leagues and col­lab­o­ra­tors that I am the leader of the com­pany and I will make de­ci­sions is still a lit­tle dif­fi­cult to ex­er­cise. It gets very lonely, but my co-founder is also a woman, so when­ever I’m fall­ing, or when­ever she’s fall­ing, we’re there for each other.”

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