Recently I showcased my project ‘Women In Green And Beyond’ a photojournalistic project on Pakistan’s women’s cricket team at ‘The Space’ twofour54 in Abu Dhabi. Let me briefly take you through my journey of documenting the women cricketers and more importantly share what motivated me to take up the project in the first place.
Those familiar with our region would know how big cricket is in Pakistan. Although men’s cricket dates back to the inception of Pakistan, i.e. 1947, the women cricketers have been around for almost two decades but hardly acknowledged. In 2010 when the women cricketers won the Asian Games, it was ironic that most people in Pakistan did not know that they even existed.
Being an advocate of gender equality, I knew I had to take up this project. The objectives were primarily two: one, to celebrate their historic victory and give these women ‘due recognition’ in this male dominated sport, and second, on a more deeper level, to present a positive story recognizing the ever growing self-belief and strength of character of Pakistani women.
The sheer energy and driving force of these women on the field did not fail to amaze me. They were fierce, powerful, and determined to take on the world. The team spirit was unbreakable, and it was evident that they were motivated to work towards a common goal of making their country proud.
From their private spaces, one could see the elements of their strong personalities and also the contrast between their on-field tough attitude, which negates the ‘soft pretty’ image of a Pakistani woman, and their cultural and religious values.
Often we forget that seeds of encouragement and empowerment are sown at home. It was a pleasure to see that families encouraged their daughters to find their own voice and let their passion drive their destiny- a change that is a must for developing future women leaders. Women cricketers have come a long way and had their share of hardships along the way, but it was their untiring commitment and resolve that made them who they are.
Today, I see women cricket as a step forward in women’s rights in Pakistan, an acknowledgment that Pakistani women can stand parallel to men in any field, and that, these women are going to be role models and pave way for the next generation of girls to come forward and choose non traditional career paths.
For more information on the project: