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Afroze, 25, from Thana Nula Khan in Sindh, Pakistan, comes from a family where women and girls are not allowed to participate in decision-making or even permitted to leave the house.
Any items they require are brought to them at home so as to restrict their mobility.
Afroze came to know about a vocational training centre being run by Trócaire’s partner Sindh Development Society (SDS) and as she loved sewing and embroidery, urged her parents to allow her to attend.
They refused initially but after meeting with SDS staff, changed their minds. When Afroze first joined the centre she lacked the confidence and self-esteem to do anything by herself.
However, after attending sessions on self-awareness and women’s rights as well as attending vocational training her confidence increased.
She started participating in domestic decision-making, earning an income for herself and eventually started her own vocational training centre.
She also started speaking about women’s rights in her area, becoming instrumental in spreading awareness and educating women not to tolerate gender-based violence (GBV).
Today, Afroze is not only economically self-reliant but also a role model for others.
She negotiated the terms of her own marriage contract with her father and future in-laws, something quite unusual in rural Sindh.
She now enjoys respect and acceptance not only in her community but also within her own family.
Afroze proudly said : ‘Now I am a successful woman. I feel myself well-educated because I am aware of my rights. I run my business with confidence. I am a role model for those women who have a lot of challenges to face and wish to do something on their own.”