Mar 17 - 23, 2008

Dawood Capital Management Limited, managers to the LADIESFUND in a league with the Sindh Women Development Department organized on March 08, 2008 the inaugural Women's Entrepreneurship awards ceremony at the historical Mohatta Palace building. The ceremony was attended, among others, by the ex-federal minister, Barrister Shahida Jamil, the city naib nazim, Mrs. Nasreen Jalil and Miss. Tara Uzra Dawood, the CEO, Dawood Capital Management. The governor of State Bank Dr. Shamshad Akhtar and the provincial minister Ms. Nadira Panjwani could not make it to the ceremony, obviously due to some more pressing engagements.

The picturesque lawn of Mohatta Palace adorned with the bordering colorful flowerbeds wore a special look while playing host to the ladies of rank. From the crevice between the two top domes of the palace the receding sun, with sufficient fire power still intact, glared fiercely at the pressmen installed in a shade-less distant enclosure, perhaps taking them as unwanted gate crashers in the fair sex show.

The ceremony started with the emcee's quest for a volunteer to recite from the Holy Quraan. A hurriedly chosen lady somehow managed to recite Surah-e-Ikhlas. One would expect someone in such gatherings to come forward with a Quraanic Text that supports in clear terms all positive woman activities beneficial to the Muslim society in particular and all other societies in general. This is time about our women at the two social extremes realize that our society can develop only with the positive interface between the two divergent segments. Our Hijab wearing segment will have to excel in the modern sciences; similarly the other lot will have to have a command of the religious knowledge.

This will bring the two segments to a level playing field with none of them suffering from superiority or inferiority syndrome. The interpersonal relationship between the two segments will remove decades-long misunderstandings created by the orthodox clergy and the two segments will move in unison towards the goal of a better society. Only then the dream of true visionary women will be fulfilled.


The CEO, Dawood Capital Management (DCM), Miss Tara Uzra Dawood unveiled the proceedings by sharing with the audience the aims and objects of the LADIESFUND and BABYFUND which are a unique addition to the existing mutual funds market. These funds are launched keeping in view the much needed financial security of the lesser segments of the society - women and children. Sponsored by First Dawood Group, Dawood Capital Management is a leading asset management company listed on the Karachi Stock Exchange. In addition to the said two newly launched funds, DCM is managing group's flagship fund Dawood Money Market Fund, Shariah-compliant Dawood Islamic Fund and closed-end balanced fund Dawood Mutual Fund. The First Dawood Group of Companies also includes, First Dawood Investment Bank Limited, Dawood Islamic Bank Limited, B.R.R Guardian Modaraba Limited, WIN Power Limited and Dawood Family Takaful Limited.

The chief guest Barrister Shahida Jamil and city naib-nazim Mrs. Nasreen Jalil gave an account of the journey of emancipation of Pakistani women focusing on the importance of in-house training of our children especially daughters to inculcate in them, at an early age, a sense of self importance to enable them to brave the odds that have littered the course of this socially important journey. The journey, no doubt, is a perilous undertaking given the state of our societal backwardness, yet it is the only journey that can produce quality woman leadership. A generous tribute was paid to the high achievers at large, especially to the Karachi women who have dominated the fields of business, fine arts, social services, finance, politics, management and education the latest addition being Khush Bakht Shujaat who, after excelling in the fields of show biz and education, has now entered the political arena. It was a pleasant surprise when the majority of audience voted in favor of Urdu after the guest speaker enquired what language they wanted her to speak in. It is certainly heart warming that the privileged segment of our female society understands the value of easy communication in the gatherings of our own people. It is good to have command of the English language but better not to show off unless warranted by the situation.


The winners of the inaugural LADIESFUND Women Entrepreneurship Awards were:

1. Ms. Maheen Khan
2. Ms. Daulat Rahimtoola
3. Ms. Shireen Naqvi
4. Ms. Nargis Baloch
5. Ms. Sameera Raja
6. Ms. Sabeen Mahmud
7. Ms. Naheed Mashooqullah
8. Ms. Sheema Kirmani
9. Ms. Raheel Tariq Khan
10. Ms. Sultana Siddiqui

The list may not be exhaustive as admitted by the sponsors, yet the will to light a candle surely staves off a darker night. One expects other banks and financial institutions to contribute their mite to enlarge the sphere of such socially important activities. Special awards were also announced for the penal of judges comprising Barrister Shahida Jamil, Ameena Saiyid, Frieha Altaf, Khursheed Hyder and Naiza Khan.

It will be unfair if a point is not made about the shabby treatment the pressmen received at the function. Only press people with a camera were allowed access to the no-go area. Besides restricting the men-with-no-camera to an un-shaded portion of the building lawn, they were made to vacate the chairs, which happened to be in short supply. Perhaps "shabby" is an understatement!