Among the mountains of Karakorum lies the well-nestled Hunza Valley, split apart from Nagar Valley with the Hunza river. The heightened above sea level of approximately 10,000 feet, Hunza is no short of any local or international appraisal for its soaring literacy rate and beautiful sites for families to vacation in. But beyond the beauty of the valley that the naked eye can see and appreciate, lies the rising culture of women empowerment in the region. Despite being a remote and isolated region of a conservative country like Pakistan, women in Hunza are seen walking the streets without fearing fundamentalist behavior pointed at them. Unlike many other isolated regions of the country, women in Hunza do not cover their heads or dress in a conservative manner out of fear.
Over the last ten years, there has been a rise in women inclusion in every aspect of Hunza, whether its education, workforce or household. The women of Hunza are forming a community that welcomes women with all sorts of talents and skills, women who can do business, or simply, women who are hard working and who want to be a part of the work force that contributes to the economy of Hunza. Nonetheless, the whole idea of prospering women is uplifting not only for the region but for entire Pakistan.
Hunza, for the first time in the county, has the first ever all-women carpentry workshop with female carpenters and designers who design buildings, wooden furniture and musical instruments to be sold to locals and tourists. This workshop is located in Altit besides the famous Altit Fort. As one moves forward from the workshop, one can find themselves standing in front of a music school, run by women and most of all, built entirely from scratch by the women. The music school is exclusive to the locals who have a passion for the art of instruments and singing. Altit fort also houses and all-women run café business, serving all the delicacies of the region, surrounded by lush green gardens of Altit. From the manager to the waiters, everyone is a woman and it is always a surprise for tourists to see such a well-functioning business all run by the women of the locality. Besides having big businesses, one can say women working on the road-sides, selling fresh delicacies like mantu (dumplings), chap shuro (pizza-like dish) and fresh apricot juice. Women of Hunza are now also encouraged to play sports on national and international levels. Anita Karim made history being the first female MMA fighter from Pakistan, representing Hunza at an international platform. Karshima Ali made it to Forbes 30 under 30 for her achievements in football, a sport most evidently played among young men of Pakistan. Samina Baig was the first Pakistani woman to complete an expedition at K2, Nanga Parbat and Mount Everest.
A region very remote and isolated, Hunza is not short of talent, especially young talent in women and year after year, Hunza produces gems that Pakistan can add to her crown and show off to the world.