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Arifa Sayeda Zehra

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Arifa Sayeda Zehra is a Pakistani educationist. Zehra is a professor emeritus of history at Forman Christian College and is a former principal of the Lahore College for Women University. She was a chairperson on the National Commission on the Status of Women. Zehra is a former caretaker provincial minister of Punjab. She is recognized for her knowledge on Urdu language and literature and is specialized in intellectual history and South Asian social issues.


Arfa Sayeda Zehra completed a Bachelor of Arts with honors from Lahore College for Women University. She earned a Master of Arts in Urdu from Government College University in Lahore. She completed a Master of Arts in Asian studies and a Doctor of Philosophy in History from University of Hawaii at Manoa.[1] Her 1983 dissertation was titled Sir Sayyid Ahmad Kahn, 1817-1898: Man with a Mission.[2]


From 1966 through 1972, Zehra was a lecturer at Lahore College for Women. She became an Assistant Professor in 1972 and taught until 1984.[1] She served the Vice Principal of Lahore College for Women University from 1985-1988 before becoming the principal from 1988-1989.[3][1] From 1989 to 2002 she was the Principal of the Government College of Women, Gulberg. From 2002 to 2005 she was a member of the Punjab Public Service Commission. Zehra was a chairperson on the National Commission on the Status of Women.[3][1] Zehra is a former caretaker provincial minister of Punjab.[4][3] She joined the faculty at Forman Christian College as a Professor of History in August 2009. She was a visiting faculty member at the following institutions Lahore University of Management Sciences, the National College of Arts, National School of Public Policy, and National Institute of Management. Her research is in the areas of intellectual history, historical analysis and critique, human rights, and gender literature and social issues.[5][6] She is recognized for her knowledge on Urdu language and literature.[3] She is a professor emeritus at Forman.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Zehra is an advocate for human development, basic human rights, and gender equality.[5]

Awards and honors[edit]

Zehra was a University of Hawaii 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awardee.[7]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Profile of Directors". Punjab Rural Support Programme. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  2. Zehra, Arfa Sayeda (1983). Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan, 1817-1898: man with a mission (Thesis).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Memon (28 November 2014). "Herald exclusive: In conversation with Arfa Sayeda Zehra". More than one of |author= and |last= specified (help)
  4. Hanif, Intikhab (19 November 2007). "20-member cabinet to take oath today".
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Arfa Zayeda Zehra Biosketch" (PDF). Centre of Biomedical Ethics and Culture. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  6. "Dr Arfa Sayeda Zehra". Forman Christian College. Retrieved 2018-10-01.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "2010-2018 Distinguished Alumni Awardees". East West Center. Retrieved 2018-10-01.

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