What does life as a woman or girl look like in your country / city / town / village? Any issues / challenges / exciting milestones?

Let's just say that we may have had the first female Prime Minister in a Muslim country and a lot more besides, but we literally don't exist as official citizens without including our father's or husband's names on our ID cards and passports right below our own names. You're either "wife of" or "daughter of" or you simply don't exist.

Having said that, women are making advances in literally every professional field here so it's not as hopeless as the international news media often depicts in its search for ratings driven content. Pakistani women are generally strong, resilient, and pretty damn smart.

What would you like the world to know about YOU? What life experience, challenge or achievement do you want to share?

I went from an idealistic girl to enduring an oppressive marriage for a decade to breaking free and finding my voice once again through the courts of law, through social media, through work, through society, and through raising my kids as a single mom. I knew I was doing something right when I asked my kids what it meant to 'run like a girl' and they replied, 'it means to run fast and strong with girl power.' 

I hope to inspire women and girls to worry less about what people are thinking or saying about them and to speak up, speak out, be loud and proud. Dialogue is the first step towards empowerment.

What are you most passionate about and what are you doing with that passion?

I'm passionate about loads of things but at the moment it's about finding pockets of happiness in this surreal experience called life. I've reached the stage where I believe that everyone deserves happiness, and forgiveness too. 

I think that the person you need to rely on most is yourself, and that you also have to be kind to yourself in the process and give yourself a break.

If you are an entrepreneur, tell us all about your business and how you got started.

I'm a writer and consultant and my fiction debut, 'Austenistan', contains contemporary stories written by six fantastic women in addition to myself:

How have the women and girls around you helped you to get to where you are today?

My tribe, my sisterhood, they're my backbone and I hope I am the same to each one of them.

Describe yourself in one word: "I am...


Complete this sentence: "To be a girl or woman today, is to be..."

happy in her own skin.