TRIBUTE TO SENATOR ATAULLAHJAN
Honourable Senators, in light of last week’s International Women’s Day, I rise today to celebrate the achievement of one of our own formidable women, Senator Salma Ataullahjan.
On March 8 – International Women’s Day – Senator Ataullahjan received the “Wonder Woman” award on behalf of the National Heroes Foundation, a non-profit organization ordained by the Government of Pakistan. From more than 300 nominations in 19 countries, Senator Ataullahjan was named as one of Pakistan’s top 23 inspirational women, receiving her award under the guise of “Women’s Icon.” Past recipients of this award include the late Benazir Bhutto.
Senator Ataullahjan was recognized as an exemplary Overseas Pakistani, as the first Pakistani Senator in Canada and for her dedicated service to the Pakistani-Canadian community. She has been a compassionate advocate of Pakistan and done her utmost to strengthen Canada-Pakistan relations, especially in times of need. Senator Ataullahjan has met with internally displaced persons in the Swat Valley, participated in flood relief efforts here in Canada, and has personally visited flood-damaged regions in Pakistan. A natural consensus builder, she has also been an active participant in several community-based associations in the GTA, including a long-time membership with the Canadian chapter of The Citizens Foundation - an international organization that has built and funded over 730 schools for Pakistan’s poorest children.
Honourable Senators, I also have the pleasure to share that Senator Ataullahjan was one of three Pakistani-Canadian women to be honoured as some of the most distinguished women of Pakistan. Oscar-winner Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and medical pioneer Dr. Shahnaz Dar also received the Wonder Woman award this past week.
Honourable Senators, I am sure we can all agree that it is wonderful to see such accomplished Canadian women recognized on the world stage. I hope that you will join me in congratulating Senator Ataullahjan and all the award winners on this prestigious honour. We are proud of you, Salma!