Tahmena Bokhari, the 4th woman in history to be crowned Mrs. Pakistan World 2010 was selected in Toronto, Canada. The pageant that started just a few years ago is now focused on finding role models for representing married women of Pakistan in a new and bold way.
Tahmena Bokhari is a College professor, social worker, consultant to governments and organizations, public speaker and writer. She has over a decade's experience working with governments, community organizations, and academic institutions and various diverse communities across the Greater Toronto Area and around the world.
She has been especially passionate about diversity, ending violence against women, health (particularly cancer) and issues surrounding immigrants and settlement. Tahmena had always been passionate about social causes, volunteering countless hours and raising awareness on important issues facing our communities for years. She obtained her Master's in Social Work from theUniversity of Torontoand traveled abroad working with victims of poverty, orphans and natural disaster survivors. Specifically, she has worked extensively in the relief efforts following the October 8th 2005 earthquake in the northern areas of Pakistan which she discusses in detail on her blog.
Sonia Ahmed, the President of Mrs. Pakistan World stated that the pageant for married women is a step forward for Pakistan in the pageant industry and hopefully Tahmena will represent Pakistan in international pageants that can take the country forward in the pageant world.
Attached is an interview with Tahmena Bokhari upon winning the title along with her photograph.
1. How does it feel to have a title like Mrs. Pakistan World?
I feel very honoured to be the 4th woman in history to win this title. I feel quite privileged to be among the women in the pageant who are beautiful, educated and who are really showcasing to the world how amazing Pakistani women are. Now, it is certainly very exciting to think of the year ahead.
2. What are your plans now that you have this new identity?
I am looking forward to working with the various people in the community at events, photoshoots, fashion shows and public speaking engagements. I am a living example of a Pakistani woman balancing career, family, pageants, culture and hobbies, and I want to talk to women everywhere about this careful juggling act we perform on a daily basis. I also want to discuss larger issues with those who are ready to make positive change.
I also want to address what may appear to be a contradiction, a dedicated social worker and feminist in a pageant. Yes, that is me, who would have thought?
For me personally, this is an opportunity to raise awareness on some very important issues that I have already spent over a decade working on. These include social causes such as violence against women, the image of Pakistanis in the media and the global status of Pakistan. When I meet people is when I get asked questions and we begin conversations, conversations from which I hope to leave people with something new, inspiring and positive that they take back to their own lives.
I have already had women coming up to me to ask how I do this. They are often surprised to hear that I am also a professor and a consultant with a very active family life. And this is where the wonderful conversation starts about the possibilities for women that exist out there.
3. Pakistan's pageant industry has developed since the last 8 years. The married section still needs a huge push. What change will you bring?
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