Zubeida Mustafa became the first woman to work in the country’s mainstream media, when she joined Dawn in 1975. Mustafa completed her BA and then her MA in International Relations from University of Karachi. She also earned her Masters in Philosophy and PhD at the London School of Economics under a Commonwealth Scholarship.
Mustafa joined Dawn, Pakistan’s leading English language daily in 1975 as assistant editor. She was the only woman in the Dawn newsroom during that time, so she used her gender to her advantage and covered the stories that the men could not cover, such as women’s issues concerning health and human rights.
As a female journalist, Mustafa has stated that the injustices Pakistani women suffer “touches her deeply.” In 1986, Mustafa was awarded the Global Media Award for Excellence by The Population Institute in Washington for her research and writings on population control in Pakistan.
In 2012, Mustafa was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Women Media Foundation for her coverage on women’s issues, politics, educations, health and culture.