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OWSD PNC 1st National Conference

December 17, 2022

The conference was conducted by OWSD-Pakistan National Chapter in person and online for the first time in collaboration with the Pakistan Academy of Sciences (PAS) on December 17, 2022, at Dr. A. Q. Khan Institute of Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering (KIBGE).

The theme of the conference was 'Modern Trends in Science and Technology: Contribution of Pakistani Women’ and was based on the importance of women’s education and their role in science, research and development.

The conference was initiated with the recitation from the Holy Quran followed by the National Anthem. The president of OWSD-PNC did the formal welcome address.

Keynote speakers:

Prof. Dr. Huma Baqai’s: She is the Rector of the Millennium Institute of Technology and Entrepreneurship, Karachi. She has previously served as an Associate Professor of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts and was also a former Associate Dean of, Faculty of Business Administration, at IBA Karachi. She has been working with both national and international media as an international relations expert and political analyst since 1999.  The title of her talk was ‘’ The Fault lines in STEMS Education for Women: A Perspective from Pakistan.


Prof. Ahsana Dar Farooq: She has expertise in Research in natural product pharmacology in the following: Antidepressants, anti-inflammatory (in vitro and in vivo) and anticancer (in vitro). Also studying monoamine oxidase levels in the depressed and schizophrenic local populations and their responses to respective drug treatments including CYP2D allele polymorphism. Her talk title was ‘Role of Unani Medicine in the Healthcare system and its Status in Pakistan.

The above talks were followed by a break in which tea was served to all the guests, faculty members, students and poster competition participants. All the members of KIBGE, OWSD, and other university students presented their research work in the form of posters and they were reviewed by each examiner invited to the institute. After the break, the talks of the speakers continued.

Prof. Dr. Anila Amber Malik: She is working as a Professor in the Department of Psychology. Her research interest is in Psychology. Her title of the talk was on ‘Psychology, Women and 21st Century Challenges and Readiness’

Prof. Dr. Azra Khanum: She is a Dean of Barani Institute of Management Sciences; Her title talk was ‘Development of Molecular Diagnostic Test and DNA Vaccine against Tuberculosis’.

All the speakers shed light on the importance of women’s education, their dignity, the hurdles they face to get into professional life and how to overcome and deal with these situations.

The session was followed by a break for lunch, prayer and the rest of the posters to review followed by a panel discussion on ‘Women in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities’.

Panel Discussion:

"Women in Higher Education: Challenges and Opportunities"

Moderator: Prof. Dr. Bina S. Siddiqui


  • Prof. Aziz Fatima Hasnain,
  • Prof. Anila Amber Malik
  • Dr. Naureen Mushtaq an
  • Dr. Farhana Azim


The focus of the discussion was on the challenges and opportunities available to women. In the survey, the gross enrolment ratio of females in higher education was 10% during 2015-16. Women are still facing issues in the higher education sector regarding lack of self-esteem, attempting to create a life/work balance, and continued hurdles presented by stereotypical gender roles. Education is one of the most important means of empowering women with the knowledge, skill and self-confidence necessary to participate fully in the development process of our country. However, in Pakistan, women face many barriers to setting up their careers in academia, such as family responsibilities with traditional gender roles and gender bias, the challenges of balancing life and work responsibilities, and low self-esteem and/or confidence. Women are largely underrepresented at the highest levels of university leadership, as most leadership positions remain occupied by men. Given the sweeping incline in female enrolment in higher education over the years, one should question why there has not been a similar increase in the trend toward gender equality in academic leadership roles.


Mehtab Rashidi was invited as a chief guest. She is a Pakistani politician and was elected to the Provincial Assembly of Sindh as a candidate of Pakistan Muslim League(F) on a reserved seat for women in the 2013 Pakistani general election. She concluded the ceremony and gave prices for the best posters of the event to 9 participants followed by HI-TEA.

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