Oprah, the one name that can be used both as a noun and an adjective considering it is in itself a compliment, is the name of a lady who may have started as an American talk show host, but has ended up becoming a phenomenon and a lovely description of powerful, unafraid, unabashed women. And that’s exactly what has happened. A woman talk show host, Kanwal Ahmed, has been talking about topics concerning women and women around the country are glad someone is talking about what they’re facing.
Kanwal Ahmed, 31, has launched her own rather groundbreaking TV show – Conversations with Kanwal, that shall take us along the numerous women issues and open important dialogues that were otherwise brushed under the carpet by society.
From opening up conversations on topics such as marital rape, cyberbullying and femicide, the show seeks to leave no stone unturned in normalising talking about women, their rights and their oppression. And to top it all, what delighted us the most was knowing that Kanwal Ahmed wasn’t alone in her vision to embolden women, for the fans for this show have managed to help raise more than five million rupees (around £23,000) in less than a week through an online crowdfunding platform.
— New Age Islam (@NewAgeIslam) December 21, 2020
Kanwal didn’t just turn into Pakistan’s favourite girl overnight, her struggle began 7 years ago when she started with a women-only forum named Soul Sisters Pakistan (SSP), discussing taboo subjects like domestic violence, women’s rights and more, that were considered consequential but not enough for women to discuss them openly. From discussing TV shows to their sex life to their household problems, the show’s objective was to enable women into talking about themselves without fearing for their lives.
And mind you, this is the same country where popularity among women often results into releasing fatwas and honour killings, but here is Kanwal Ahmed, striking against all odds and giving the women of Pakistan a hope for a brighter future. But not without a struggle of her own.
Women rally to save Pakistan’s taboo-busting ‘Oprah show’,
Conversations With Kanwal. https://t.co/IyLvd5Elt2
— Prof. Aisha K.Gill Ph.D. CBE |Criminologist⚖️✊🏾 (@DrAishaKGill) December 21, 2020
As SSP grew into a culture of its own, it garnered over 250,000 very active and vocal members, most of which were between the ages of 18 to 35 and female. As she hit on the nail with the key demographic, her show managed to touch base on so many topics, becoming the only refuge for women. It was from there that she managed to launch Conversations with Kanwal on YouTube, a show that only sustained itself for two years.
Trying hard to keep the show going, as the funds ran out and mainstream channels refused to engage with the format of the show, for it was deemed too controversial, it was then that Kanwal again reached out to her loyal fan base of SSP, that to her surprise and ours, raised thousands of dollars, just to keep her show going. “Financial independence is not considered a birthright for those who identify as women. Many women either open a joint account with a male counterpart or only deal in cash, which is why it’s such a big deal. It truly is a show that is powered by the people.”