The United Nations Human Rights Council invited 21-year-old Noreena Shams to represent Pakistan’s women athletes in Geneva from October 1st to 3rd. Shams is an international squash player and holds the 127th position in the world and is amongst the top 50 most inspirational women from Pakistan.

Noreena Shams has made a reputable name for herself in the sports industry as the first ever sportswoman to represent Pakistan from the Malakand Division.

Noreena belongs to the Lower Dir district and is from a quintessentially conventional family. Shams is a cricketer and a cyclist and has first-hand experience with harassment and discrimination against women in the sports department. She is also well aware of the inequality and insignificance attached to women in an environment that is and has been predominantly male.


Shams recalls having to conceal her identity as a child only to avoid the inevitable discrimination hurled her way.

At 15, she masked herself as a boy to play cricket. She grew up in a society where there was no reasonable or functioning academy for girls. Just 3 years into playing professionally, she also became a world-ranked squash player.

She believes she can help in changing the role played by society in providing girls with the same opportunities as boys. Shams wishes to become an advocate and ensure the abolition of gender discrimination from the Pakistani society. However, as a young woman, she intends to positively contribute to change the narrative, so young girls may follow her lead and excel in sports without facing the same hurdles.

She stated: “This is an honour for me that I represented my country at the international level in the United States, Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and UK.”

We wish Noreena Shams the very best of luck and hope that she continues to make a difference in the field of sports as she intends to. She says;

 “I believe no one can stop me from getting what I want except Allah.”

More power to you Noreena!

*You can also be a part of Noreena’s cause and share her vision by clicking, here!*


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