Meet the First Woman in South Asia to Coach A Professional Men’s Team

After decades of hibernation, Pakistan has woken up to the importance of empowering women in the world of sports and one such example is Raheela Zarmeen.

Raheela grew up playing football in the province of Balochishtan, a place where football fields don’t exist. She, along with her sisters, practiced on a hockey field at the Girls College in Quetta.

Defying all odds, Raheela has made an example out of herself.

The Struggle

There are various challenges women need to overcome in life and even more so if they choose to pursue a career in sports. Apart from social and peer pressure, the funds allocation in women’s football is another serious concern.

Raheela played football on a hockey turf for five years as there was no support from the provisional government.

In 2012, she won bronze medal for Balochistan and the following two years she won silver and gold medal. Despite this, neither the federal government nor the provincial government honored her contribution.

Parents’ Role In Raheela’s Life

Majority of the people tend to thank their parents for immense success in their careers, and Raheela is one of them. She said:

What I have attained and struggled for is all because of my parents. Obviously without their support and motivation, I wouldn’t have overcome all the obstacles and stand so firmly.

My parents fully supported me and my sisters in choosing football as a career, not merely a hobby.

Raheela believes that her parents enabled her to pursue her dreams and wishes without worrying about any repercussions, which made it easier for her to succeed.

What She Has Achieved

From the time when girls playing football was frowned upon, Raheela is now serving as manager of the National Women’s Football Team and is a brand ambassador for Leisure League.

Furthermore, she is also the first woman in South Asia to coach a professional men’s team — Karachi Electric.

Thinking For Future

After facing many struggles obstacles and struggles, Raheela is using her image for the betterment of future women in Pakistan.

With the help of Leisure League, Raheela is constructing football fields across Balochistan to encourage women to play football part time. In an interview, Raheela said:

The field in Gwadar is ready, so I will be visiting there to promote football. I will visit other cities as well, once the fields are ready.

To see someone struggle and then rise back to their feet, it is an incredible source of motivation — just like Raheela Zarmeen. We wish all the best to her and her future plans.

Zarar is the Editor of Sports and Auto section at ProPakistani.


  • Great : Appreciated : K Women Men’s Ko Train Kar Rahi hai :
    Tab He Shayad Hum Football Main Peeche hai :p
    Thank God Women Cricket Main Men’s Ko Training Nahi Karti :

    • Sannan

      Issi ghatiya soch ki wajah se hamari aurtein taraqqi nahi kar sakti. Yaad rakhiyega, maa hi apne bachon ki training karti hai chahe wo larka ho ya larki. Apne mazhab mai dekhiye, aurat kisi mard se kumtar nahi.

      • I am talking about Crickets, Match, Football, Etc not for HOME CHILDREN
        Rahi Bat Islam Main Larkiya Ghar Par Parde Main Rehti Hai :
        Na Mehroom Ko Dekhna Khud Dekhana Gunha Ha : Ap Jante Ho :

        • Alina

          Tum kitna ghalat aur ghair Islami khayalaat k ho. Aur yai kis Islam ki baat kar tay ho? Yai wo Jahalat wali Mazhab jo yai Mullah aur yai wahabbi chahta hai jismay mard aurat par hakumat kar ta hai? Dafa karo.
          Islam wo hai jo Quran mai -aur yai Allah ka definition hai. Aur hum sirf Allah ki hakoomat ko maantay hai ,kisi mard- ward ka nahi. ‘Qawamoon’ ka matlab nahi hukmraan ,is ka matlab hai jo sahara dai ta ho. Toh yai ‘mahram’ wala concept bhi ghair Islami hai.
          Jao aur ja kar Quran Pak ko achi tarha say paro jis mai Allah mard ko hukm dai ta hai k aurat pai koi zabrdasti nahi kar sak ta hai. Aur to aur Allah mard ko hukm dai ta hai kai aurat kay samnay pehlay wo upna nigah nichay karay. Toh yai parday wali baat kahan say ai? Lihaza yai aik chauvinist bida hai k ‘larkiya ghar mai parde mai rahay’ aur mard bahir phirta raaj karay. Hargiz nahi. Islam wo hai jo Allah ka Islam hai, mard ka nahi hai. Islam aurat ko poora haq daita hai ka k apni kaabliat ko sabit karay har jaiz shoba mai. Yai mardana wala nakli mazhab jo Islam ka naam diya gaya hai woh hi toh sab say bara guna hai.
          Si fahamu bwana?

      • Patriot

        Dear, I agree with you wholeheartedly about Islam giving huge importance to women, perhaps much more than is given even to Men. If only we knew and understood.
        However — you must qualify what is the criteria for the word “progress” (Taraqqi”) that you have mentioned.
        If the criteria for progress is in line with Sharia (as our Beloved Prophet had given, not what our mostly illiterate mullahs — not respected muftis and ulemas — profess), then I agree 100% with you.
        However, if your standard for measurement is western, then perhaps you should not have joined the second part of your sentence with the first.
        Peace!

  • Muhammad Yasir

    this is the LEAST of Football’s issues in Pakistan

    we need investment, good pitches, sponsors and a rewarding, incentivized football league system for players to grow and eventually become good enough to form a competent NT !

    gender equality can come later , pehle Football to establish karo sahi sy.

    yahan to saala football KHELNE k liye bhi paisa kharch karna parta hai (just have a look at those s c u m s from Karachi United FC , they’re only interested in money and nothing else !)

    • Kirran

      Tum hai kya lagta hai , tum Pakistani mard kyun itnay peechay ho ? abhi tak? halan k saray faiday tum mard ko miltay hain, phirbi koi kaamyabi nahi milay iss football ko agay laykar janay k lia ..hmm? Kyun har cheez mard zaat ko ana ka masla bana day ta hai aur khud ko khuda samaj kar bait jata hai. Yai football ya koi aur bhi sport ho sirf mard ki malkiat nahi hai samjhay? Yahi soch tum mardon ko kamzor aur nakaam banata hai. Raheela Zarmeen aik aam Pakistani aurat ko daikho- against odds, in male infested Pakistan upnay maqsad mai kaamyab hoi hai. Aur han- tum mard ko kyun lagta hai k hur cheez tum ko muft mai milni chahiay -self- entitlement much , no? kabhi kabhi kaam bhi karna hota hai kuch kamanay k lia

      • Muhammad Yasir

        1. Looks like a FAKE AF Indian account, trying to troll on this forum. (Tum Pakistani mard” , yeah right. pathetic loser)

        2. Raising this issue of feminism or gender equality has ALREADY proven to be a RECIPE for disaster, not in 3rd world countries, BUT in ESTABLISHED FIRST WORLD countries !

        It is already causing problems, social inconsistencies and bias/favoritism culture on BOTH sides because gender equality is very poorly defined and VERY poorly implemented. No one actually knows what actual gender equality is.

        Jb developed countries me itna confusion hai is par, to 3rd world countries me 0 progress hoga is sy related !

        3. NO ONE is making it an ‘ana ka masla’ . i think you have a very poor interpretation. You didn’t quite read what i said in my ORIGINAL POST.

        I said Gender Equality can come LATER, i didn’t say it DID NOT HAVE TO COME AT ALL !

        Yes, Football isn’t anyone’s property but Women’s football will be EVEN MORE OVERLOOKED than Men’s football ! agar tumhary khali dimagh me thori si bhi aqal hoti to tmko pata hota k stagnating the progress of football is not a gender issue here. It’s just another one of your feminist crazed opinion influencing and clouding your ability to look at the actual facts.

        Your point saying that all advantages are for the men and yet still there’s no progress… that’s because;

        FOOTBALL IS BEING NEGLECTED BY AUTHORITIES, LEFT AND RIGHT ! there’s no issue of gender discrimination here, anyone who comes forward to promote the game does NOT have any guarantee of any support. WHETHER they be a man or a woman. For the sport to take off, YOU NEED ACTUAL SUPPORT FROM GOVT. YOU DONT NEED THIS PETTY FEMINISM LOGIC OF YOURS TO PROMOTE FOOTBALL, YOU NEED ACTUAL DRIVING FORCE BEHIND THE EFFORT. WHICH I DONT SEE YOU DOING.

        All the best to Raheela Zarmeen ! It’s a good thing she’s promoting the game. Nothing against her. again, your poor interpretation of english is evident here… you’re as deluded as a weed smoking lunatic.

        Lastly, Free Football Training is how the THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES like Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay and even MUCH MUCH POORER AFRICAN NATIONS like Nigeria, Tunisia, Algeria and GHANA continuously spew out TALENTED, FULL FLEDGED and WORLD CLASS Professional Players.

        Pakistan has better living standard than most of the aforementioned countries. YET STILL, there’s no progress? why?

        in your sorry, dumb head… it’s because of “Gender INEquality” but in reality, it’s because S C U M S in Pakistan TAKE money for petty services in the Footballing domain. There’s NO GOVT SPONSORED INFRASTRUCTURE to handpick, train and groom young, promising talents from the streets.

        Self-entitlement ? haha … looks like you don’t know the first thing about how football works at the very basic level.

        Tell you what, if there was a good footballing setup, there would be a 100 more women like Raheela Zarmeen in Pakistan. Gender has NOTHING to do with the game. There’s no provision for football at grass roots level. so Boys AND Girls alike can’t pursue a career in Football.

        Simple.

        Your feminist crazed tirade and wayward logic is the LAST thing this country and it’s football needs. Go preach your feminism in US, where they think it’s a show of pride to twist one’s orientation…

        Oh and …. Such a BOLD Feminst you are, yet you hide yourself behind a probably FAKE and troll Disqus account. where’s your Equality now ? Why can’t you post a profile picture with your face on your profile ? I guess you’re going to blame men for that too ? It’s because Men somehow impeded your right to post a profile picture and use an actual account instead of a throwaway ?

        Get rid of the double standards. Otherwise you’re just another SJW who’s got nothing better to do than preach some crazy feminist logic all day long.

      • Muhammad Yasir

        @AbdulWAHABAlam:disqus han bhai, kuch kehna pasand karenge?