For three years Y Care International and Community World Service Asia have been working together to help disadvantaged young women from Sindh province in Pakistan to increase their financial resilience and become economically empowered within their families and their communities.
Female artisans have been learning in-demand embroidery skills and basic literacy and numeracy skills to help them in the Pakistani market place.
This programme, now in its final stages, has upskilled hundreds of women in rural villages helping to improve their livelihoods and, through additional gender awareness sessions, men from Umerkot districts are also starting to engage with the issues that affect women in their community.
What we have achieved
- Since 2014, 722 disadvantaged women have developed improved sewing and traditional embroidery skills (stitches, dying, block printing); they have also received basic numeracy and literacy skills learning to write their name and identify numbers. These skills have made women more confident to go to markets, check prices, change given and negotiate handicraft orders
- 480 of these women are engaged in 42 Women Enterprise Groups (WEGs) which aim to encourage women to work together as a team to manage embroidery orders, to share risks and responsibilities, to support each other and to feel more confident and resilient to shocks or crises
- A newly created social enterprise “Taanka” is playing a key role introducing the work of female artisans to designers and retailers in Pakistani cities; helping the women to manage orders in Karachi and linking their rural communities with urban centres. As such, the average income across families has exceeded programme income targets by 141% – the average income for families is now $147 per month
- 1800 men have participated in gender sessions and as a result, community members from 22 villages have increased their awareness and knowledge on gender-related issues which directly affect their local communities
- Due to work done by gender activists and action groups, men are allowing women to conduct economic activities such as market visits and meetings with buyers; 20 girls have been enrolled in school; 36 child marriages have been postponed; and five cases of domestic abuse have been identified
This partnership initiative is funded by UK Aid from the British government and the Swedish Postcode Lottery.