Pakistan’s climate activist Ayisha Siddiqa has been included in the TIME Magazine’s Women of the Year 2023 list.
The annual list, which was unveiled by TIME on March 2, “examines the most uplifting type of influence by highlighting leaders who are using their voices to fight for a more equal world,” according to the publication. The 12 women they selected represent many cultures and occupations, from activism to the arts and sports to politics.
Siddiqa, a 24-year-old advocate for human rights and the environment, enjoys using poetry as a way of expression. She views it as a symbol of hope. She read an original poem titled So Much About Your Sustainability, My People Are Dying To Point Out How the Leaders Have Failed Their Nations during the annual UN Climate Conference in Cairo in November.
Also read: What does Jemima miss most about Pakistan?
Raised in a matriarchal household, some things became deeply entrenched in her consciousness, motivating her to help the vulnerable and hold polluters accountable. “I was raised with the idea that the earth is a living being, that she gives life to you and in return, you have a responsibility,” she told TIME. “And I think we, collectively, have come to a point where we are ignoring the cries of earth mother.”
This year, besides the Pakistani climate change activist, the list included Australian actor Cate Blanchett, American actor Angela Bassett, Somalian professional boxer Ramla Ali, American singer-songwriter Phoebe Bridgers, Minister of Racial Equality of Brazil Anielle Franco, Ukrainian women’s and LGBT rights activist Olena Shevchenko, Mexican human rights activist Verónica Cruz Sánchez, Iranian-American journalist, author and women’s rights activist Masih Alinejad, American soccer player Megan Rapinoe, Japanese incoming CEO Makiko Ono and American writer Quinta Brunson.
The views and opinions expressed in the preceding text are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Coverpage.