Young women still pegged back by social barriers

Published in Express Tribune, October 12, 2017
Nearly 22 million girls in the country between the ages of 10 and 19 years of age are still facing multiple social barriers and access to education due to long-standing issues of poverty, cultural norms and even geographical isolation.
However, some organisations are doing more than just talking about the problem, and are challenging some of these issues head-on.
With October 11 marking the International Day of the Girl Child, an event was held in the capital by the US Embassy and USAID on Wednesday to highlight how local organisations throughout the country were improving the lives of girls through the Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme (SGAFP).

“When girls are educated, they can make better futures for themselves, their families, their communities, and their countries,” said US Ambassador David Hale. 

 “The United States government invests heavily in educating and enabling girls; and through the SGAFP, the American people have worked with Pakistani NGOs to improve the lives of over a million Pakistani women,” he added.

A documentary, “Second Chance at Hope,” was also screened which narrated the story of 288 girls in a remote area of Jafarabad in Balochistan where the local high school is too far.

Students from the USAID-supported Anjuman Nawjawanan Charsadda performed the national anthem in sign language.

Girls from a USAID supported orphanage presented a tableau performance on Allama Iqbal’s poem “Lab Pai Ati Hai Dua.”

Although the grants listed under this programme are called ‘small’, their impact is enormous, said Saeed Ashraf Siddiqi, chief party of USAID SGAFP.


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