Women in Armed Forces of Pakistan have been serving in Pakistan since 1947, primarily in roles like medical, administrative, and education fields. Over the years, their roles have expanded to include combat and operational positions.
Women have been engaged in various branches of the armed forces of Pakistan, such as the Pakistan Army, Pakistan Navy, and Pakistan Air Force, albeit with certain restrictions in combat roles. However, policies and regulations are regularly evolving and they are seen in roles other than the traditional ones.
Women in Armed Forces of Pakistan
Women in Pak Army
Women in Pak Air Force
Women in Pak Navy
Here are a few notable women from Pakistan who have made significant contributions to the armed forces:
Major General Shahida Malik: One of the highest-ranking women officers in the Pakistan Army, she has served in various administrative and command positions. She was a senior officer of the Pakistan Army who was the former Surgeon-General of the Pakistan Army Medical Corps. She is the first lady officer in the Pakistan Army to have reached to two-star rank. Trained as a doctor, she was appointed the Inspector-General Hospitals as well as deputy commander of the Pakistan Army Medical Corps before retiring in 2004. She was conferred with military awards i.e. Hilal-e-Imtiaz and Sitara-e-Imtiaz.
Major General Nigar Johar: She is the first and only woman in the history of Pakistan Army to reach the rank of Lieutenant-General and the third to reach the rank of major-general in the Pakistan Army and served as the Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army Medical Corps. In addition to being the Surgeon General of the Pakistan Army Medical Corps, she is also known for her contributions to health and medical services in the armed forces. She was conferred with military awards i.e. Hilal-e-Imtiaz and Tamgha-e-Imtiaz.
The other five women major-generals Shahida Badsha, Shahida Malik, Shehla Baqai, Abeera Chaudhry and Shazia Nisar also belong to the Army Medical Corps.
Major General Shahida Badsha: She has served in various command and staff appointments and is known for her significant contributions to the Pakistan Army Medical Corps. She is the former principal of Army Medical College, Rawalpindi. She was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz military, which is the second highest distinction and award in Pakistan.
Major General Shehla Baqai: She is serving in the Army Medical Corps and headed the Department of Obs & Gynaecology CMH at Lahore Medical College, Lahore. She was awarded Hilal-e-Imtiaz military.
Major Samina Malik: An Army doctor, she received the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Medal of Excellence) for her contributions during the 2005 earthquake relief efforts.
Brigadier Saba Khan: She is one of the few women to have reached the rank of Brigadier in the Pakistan Army and has served in various command and staff positions.
Lieutenant Colonel Tayyaba Fatima: She became the first woman to command a male infantry battalion in the Pakistan Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Ayesha Babar: She is among the women officers who have excelled in their roles and contributed to the growth of women's presence in the Pakistan Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Kiran Imtiaz: She made history as one of the first female officers to command a male combat unit in the Pakistan Army.
Lieutenant Colonel Shabnam: She made history by becoming Pakistan's first female paratrooper and has participated in numerous airborne operations.
Flight Lieutenant Ayesha Farooq: Known as Pakistan's first female fighter pilot, she flies an F-7PG aircraft in the Pakistan Air Force. She became the first Pakistani female fighter pilot in 2013 after topping the final exams to qualify. She now flies missions alongside her 24 male colleagues in Squadron 20. She has the honor of being the only one qualified for combat and to fly sorties along the border, out of the 6 female fighter pilots of PAF. She is one of the women pilots which now total 19, in PAF since the 2000's
Lieutenant Shazia Nawaz: She became the first female pilot in the Pakistan Army Aviation Corps and flew various missions during her service.
Marium Mukhtiar: The first female pilot, martyred in the line of duty, of Pakistan Air Force (PAF), Marium Mukhtiar was awarded with Tamgha-e-Basalat. Marium was a Flight Officer of Pakistan Air Force martyred in a training jet crash on 24, November, 2015. Tamgha-e-Basalat (Medal of Good Conduct) is admissible to all ranks for acts of valour, courage & devotion to duty though not on active operations against the enemy.
Captain Kiran Ashfaq: She is the first female officer to command a Pakistan Navy ship, the PNS Himmat.
Commander Farah Sadia TI(M) Pakistan Navy (PN): On August 14, 2017, she was awarded with Chief of the Naval Staff Letter of Commendation for her professional accomplishments. On March 23, 2018, President of Pakistan awarded her with Tamgha-e-Imtiaz (Military).
Lt. Zakia Jamali: She has the distinction of being the first Baloch lady commissioned officer.
Lt. Ayesha binte Rafiq: She is one of the amazing individuals that has become a Navy paratrooper. Navy offers para training courses and Lt. Ayesha qualified for this course on merit.
Lt. Asma Shaheen: She joined as Education Branch Officer in 2015. Her posting is at Naval Academy in Manora Island where she teaches naval cadets. A variety of subjects is taught at PNA: Navigation, Seamanship, Mathematics, English and Communication Skills, etc.
Lt. Shabina Kanwal: She joined Navy’s IT Branch. She is a software engineer from NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi.
Lt. Commander Faiza Kabir: She was among one of the first batches of doctors directly inducted by Navy. She is a graduate of Sindh Medical College (SMC).
Lt Commander Faryal Asif: She joined Navy in 2010 and her job entails providing spares support for ships and aircrafts, clothing, food, etc. Depots are set up in different places; they purchase what is needed and her segment coordinates to keep the supply chain intact. She is the first lady officer performing in an executive officer capacity.
Disclaimer: The information provided here is mostly submitted by our team and gathered from the net or from people known to them personally. Please forgive if some info is outdated or requires an update.
These are just a few examples, and there are many more women who have served and continue to serve with distinction in the armed forces of Pakistan. Their roles and achievements showcase the growing presence and contributions of women in the military.
These individuals have demonstrated leadership, dedication, and determination in their service to the armed forces of Pakistan, breaking barriers and inspiring future generations of women in the process.
These women have shown dedication, professionalism, and resilience in their service, paving the way for greater gender diversity and inclusion in the Pakistan's armed forces.
Quoted from United Nation's Press Release dated February 2020:
'Pakistani female army officers awarded UN Medal in Democratic Republic of Congo
Members of the first-ever Pakistani Female Engagement Team (FET), deployed with the United Nations Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), were recently awarded the UN Medal at a ceremony in Adikivu in South Kivu, one of the provinces of the central African country.
This team of 15 female officers, who serve at the ranks of Major and Captain, was stationed there in June last year, marked by the raising of Pakistan’s flag at the mission.
The officers include psychologists, stress counsellors, vocational training officers, gender advisors, doctors, nurses, operations officers, information officers and logistics officers, according to a message received at the UN Headquarters in New York.
The MONUSCO peacekeeping mission said in a press release that another 17 female officers will join them in February 2020.
UN Peacekeepers rely heavily on engaging with the local community — which feels more comfortable liaising and sharing information with military troops that include women alongside men, the mission added.
“Throughout their deployment, the Pakistani female officers worked hard to win the trust of the community,” it said.
The Pakistani FET, according to the mission, implemented successful projects including vocational training, medical outreach and regular sessions of support for students, local women and teachers exposed to trauma along with conducting psychological workshops for Congolese police personnel.'