Future tolerance champion
Mehwish Rani was the first girl in her family to go to university, becoming an ambassador for girls’ education in her community in Pakistan. Now studying for an International Masters in Security, Intelligence and Strategic Studies, her ambition is to reduce terrorism and violent extremism.
“I belong to a very traditional family from a small town in Pakistan. We are seven sisters, one brother. Girls are not traditionally celebrated in my community, and although I was outstanding in school, when my father decided that he wanted to send me to university, some people said that he should not to send me to a bigger city.
He did send me and I did well. I was responsible and that developed confidence among my relatives that I was on the right track. Then, after university I got a job and I started to earn money for myself. I began to look after one of my younger sisters and I helped her to begin study at university too. I took care of my relatives’ health. Essentially, I took on the role that many sons take in our society, and it helped people to see the benefit of sending girls to college or university. My relatives started to send their own daughters. They realised that empowering girls was something good.
Now I am studying in Glasgow on a scholarship. For me to come to another country on a scholarship was another milestone for my community. Girls from home aspire to do what I’m doing.
The title ‘world changer’ is very much related to what I want to do in the future. I have worked as a researcher in counter-terrorism and I encountered very few women working in this field. But I wanted to do it, because I believe that terrorism and violent extremism is a huge threat to the world.
In the future I want to work as a writer, an activist and a politician. I want to write about how we can make the world a safer place for all humans. And I want to bring these issues into the discussion at parliament, to be able to influence policy that promotes tolerance and awareness between different groups of people.
I think that if you are doing anything that can have a global impact or global implications, then you are a world leader. That is something I aspire to be. I can’t change anything on my own, but I can play my role. I don’t believe in sitting and waiting for others to take action. I believe that every individual matters.
I hope that being a UofG Future World Changer can help broaden the horizons of my thinking and guide me as to how I can play my role in a better way. Then I may be able to guide many others.”
Future World Changers
Mehwish is part of the UofG Future World Changers group: students with ambitions that could improve the lives of many. Check the website and/or connect with us on social media to follow the progress of all of our UofG Future World Changers as they pursue their goals.