Trailblazer

Meet Pakistan’s first and only female firefighter

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Shazia Parveen, a twenty-five-year old woman from a village in South Punjab, has successfully become Pakistan’s first and only female firefighter. “I wanted to serve the people,” said Parveen. “… No woman had done it before and I wanted to prove it could be done.” Parveen says that the firefighters she works with have been supportive, and that while she faces criticism from others she does not pay any attention, citing the support of her family as a source of her strength. Pakistan is a conservative and religious country where millions of women struggle for access to health care and education, a fact which opens Parveen to criticism as a woman doing a “man’s job,” but also lends her to certain advantages: “Women prefer to be rescued by women,” notes Parveen. “They don’t want to be touched by men they don’t know.”

Watch the full video at the BBC.

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