Our Woman of Substance – Samar Khan is going where not many dare, and that too, on a bike! Originating from the area of Khas Dir KPK, Samar Khan became the first woman in the world to ride a bike on the 4,500 meters high Biafo Glacier in the Karakoram Mountains of Gilgit Baltistan and the first Pakistani to have biked on the ‘roof of Africa’, Kilimanjaro and Uhuru Peak, Tanzania.
Samar Khan is the first woman who rode a cycle all the way from Islamabad to the Pak-China border. This inspiring lady is making us proud, and we decided to ask her a few questions about what it means to be a Woman in Pakistan!
What does Women’s Day mean to you?
To me, Women’s Day is the celebration of our existence and global sisterhood. Because doesn’t matter in what corner we are, each one of us stands for something substantial and love to uplift other women around us for equal opportunities, respect, and blessings that we deserve. And we educate each other at the same time while climbing our own mountains and become the example of resilience for those who look up to us. That’s why real-life stories of courageous women are shared on Women’s Day so that others get motivated and rise.
One thing Western women can teach Asian women (Or vice versa).
One thing the Asian woman can teach Western women is the resilience she builds in herself along with her journey from educating herself, to opting for a career of her choice, and to the stage of getting married. Because at every stage, she must fight for her life and make choices. And she has to manage things with limited resources. The rural areas of Asian countries represent true courage and hard work, and the fight for her empowerment continues till she breathes. We know many prominent names who have set examples of extraordinary talent and persistence in Asia.
Your female role model in current times.
The powerhouse “Serena Williams’’ because of her determination and inspiring sports life despite her child and family responsibilities. She’s down-to-earth and humble even after a massively successful life and achievements. She’s a role model for millions of girls out there, who want to live big and who want to bring honor to their family and country.
One hardship you faced in your path to success.
The only hardship I faced was to do what I love and make someone pay for that. Yes, because when I started sports I did not know, ‘how to make a career out of it’ while supporting my family. I had to take days off from my job and attempt my expeditions after months of saving money. Then I was fired, and I started taking public groups for training and small expeditions. With the passage of time as my profile grew, I was offered sponsorships and paid projects. My last breakthrough, i.e, cycling on Kilimanjaro was also possible because I got sponsored by Pakistan Army (ISPR).
One thing you would do, if you were a man for a day.
If I was a man for a day,’’ I would kick the ones who harass women while driving, biking or walking on the road’’.
One thing we can teach Pakistani men.
One thing we want to teach Pakistani men is to consider a women, a ‘Human (living thing)’, before a gender; who feels joy, who feels pain, who can get tired, who needs to breathe in her own space and who is wise enough to think for her future. And all humans are born empowered and blessed, It’s us who cage them and limit their potential. Just live and let others live, simple!
Fill in the blanks, A woman’s place is…
A women’s place is in ‘wherever the hell she wants’!! She’s the one to decide!
A song that describes you best
A song that describes me is ‘’Still Breathing’’ from ‘’Point Break’’.