Young women of the Pakistani Umerkot villages are forced to deal with discrimination, stopping them from being able to make enough money for themselves and have their say. This project fights the barriers they face in their community, and empowers them with the skills to earn an income.

Over the next three years we will work with the Church World Service to reduce poverty and inequality for over 4,000 young women and their families, bringing them training to create in-demand embroidery, and ending the prejudice from within their community.

Over the next three years we will work with the Church World Service to reduce poverty and inequality for over 4,000 young women and their families, bringing them training to create in-demand embroidery, and ending the prejudice from within their community.

For so many young people, and especially young women, Pakistan is a tough place to grow up.

60 million people in Pakistan, a third of its whole population, live in extreme poverty. Umerkot is one of the most remote, rural and under-developed districts in Pakistan, with the second highest poverty rates in the province of Sindh.

The area also has a huge problem of prejudice, affecting the daily lives of local people. 70% of the population are non-Muslims, including Hindus (a majority being low caste) and Christians – all of whom are forced to experience tough discrimination and barriers to accessing their basic services.

What we are doing to help

Lasting change will be brought to the lives of over 4,000 women through vastly increased earning and civic power, reducing poverty and inequality.

Disadvantaged young women from 22 villages in the Umerkot region will benefit from training on how to make in traditional embroidery and textile products, which are much demanded in the country’s high-end urban markets. This will provide them with the skills to generate an income for themselves and their family – helping them to be independent in a part of the world where being a woman makes that a struggle.

This practical skills-training we deliver will then be combined with the training of local gender activists and gender-awareness activities for men, to improve women’s empowerment and decision-making capabilities in their communities.