Maryam Nawaz, the daughter of the former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, has been included in New York Times’ 11 most powerful women of 2017.
Featured alongside ten other women, the list “aims to bring to readers people around the world they probably have never heard of, but who have led interesting lives and done extraordinary things, or perhaps recently gone through a remarkable experience”.
Politically, you or I may not agree with Maryam, but there’s no denying that she is a smart woman because you can only make it so far based on being pushed in the public sphere, you need your own ability to carry on from the platform you’ve been provided with.
In their opinion about Maryam Nawaz, the New York Times wrote “Maryam is the most suitable heir to the political empire that her father and ousted premier Nawaz Sharif has built.”
If you promise to keep aside political differences, here are some of the reasons why she is one of the most powerful women in Pakistan today and New York Times isn’t wrong identifying her as such
1. In a plethora of male politicians, she has managed to create a name for herself
Pakistani politics is dominated by male politicians and it is very difficult for women to create space for themselves and get their voice acknowledged by the system. She has managed to break that barrier and establish a ground for herself. Yes, she had a well connected father but that father also had sons that could have easily become part of the public sphere, also the same family has other male politicians too.
2. She has successfully managed to gather quite a following as a possible heir to the leadership of Pakistan’s largest mainstream parties
Her father has always been the face of PML-N politics, but she has successfully managed to make herself relevant in circles supporting the party.
3. Remember her first public address? It could not have been more coherent and precise
You might disagree with her politics but you can’t disagree that she stood by her party’s values and had a clear-cut vision for herself.
4. She falls in the same streak of female politicians who are able to leave people in awe
Politicians like Benazir Bhutto and Hina Rabbani Khar left the people in awe – this was due to their mastery over diplomatic nuances and at the same time, their style profile.
5. The calmness and conviction with which she carries herself is inspiring
6. She knows how to cultivate a public image
Despite her gaining ground as a political leader, her strong bond with her family is quite evident and keeps her going.
7. She is the face of the family in the absence of her father
8. After Benazir Bhutto, she is the only female politician to have created such a large circle of influence
Benazir Bhutto was the only female politician to be widely accepted by the population and to be voted in as Prime Minister. Maryam Nawaz falls under the same category.
9. She has managed to do all of this without holding any public office
Maryam Nawaz does not hold any public office, and for someone to create a name for themselves without holding office is absolutely remarkable. Now, you may attribute this to influence or coercion but what you can’t deny is that she is really one of the most powerful women, if not the most powerful woman, in Pakistan, right now.
Our political affiliations may not agree with Maryam’s but we can’t deny her stature as a powerful politician and a woman who has managed to make a strong political mark for herself in a country that is extremely important to the world affairs.
Let us know if you agree with this or not in the comments below.
Cover image: via dawn.com