Khalida Brohi Fellow 2010
Living in: Balochistan — Pakistan
Venture: Sughar -A program of Participatory Development Initiatives
Promoting Women Entrepreneurship to end Violence against Women!
Operating in: South Asia
Impact Area: Human Rights, Rural Development, Women and Girls
"What a wonderful world! "
Describe yourself briefly.
I am a very fortunate person. Life offered me much more then I could ever imagine, I got my freedom, education, opportunities and power of decision making that no other girl in my family or community could get. In a way I lived my life distributed between two very distinct realities: one my original inheritance, the second my gained identity.
My original inheritance is that I belong to a tribal community in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, to a society where traditions fix the fate of each girl. But luck turned out that I became the first girl in my community who could get her education in Karachi, and I was provided every opportunity to grow and learn and encouraged to speak my mind.
My freedom every second became the nagging influence on my choosing to step forward and try my hardest to change the lives of other girls in my community who still live the life of a slave to the negative tribal traditions like exchange marriages, early marriages, arranged marriages, gender discrimination, exchange of girls to solve conflicts and even honor killings. Thus at the age of 16 I started my real journey and it’s been a tremendous success in the form of Sughar!
Describe your Unreasonable Venture in 100 words or less.
From centuries women in tribal communities around the world have been facing injustice the form of tradition by being exchanged for marriages, to be married off in childhood, to be given off in solving tribal disputes and even to be killed in the name of honor.
Sughar (in local language means skilled and confident woman) is an initiative aimed at ending the negative customs by promoting and magnifying the beautiful traditions and providing socio-economic empowerment to women.
Sughar Program establishes Women Learning and Skill Development Centers in selected rural communities where each Center offers an 8 month course to tribal rural women on value-adding and renovating the traditional embroidery and also provide basic education and literacy skills and raise awareness of rural women which builds their capacities towards decision making and contribution in their households and lives.
The embroidery is later marketed via various means including Marketplaces of PDI and various exhibitions and stalls around Pakistan. While each course offers a minimum loan to each woman after graduating to initiate Primary Production Units at their homes thus promoting women entrepreneurship.