My Name is Khalida Brohi, I am 24 year old from a small village in the Balochistan province of Pakistan and I have a dream:
To save the lives of 1 million women from the hidious custom of Honor Killings.
Unlike others I didnt see my dream in the dark of the night nor in my sleep but it happened to me in the wake of the day when I was 16 years old and just discovered that my friend is murdered just because she wanted to marry someone she liked.
My Journey started there...
I am a very fortunate person. Life offered me much more then I could ever imagine, coming from a small village that I was, I still 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 Balochistan 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 and even honor killings. And when life shook me hard with the news of my friend I began my own kind of a fight against honor killing through Sughar!
Honor killings – the murders of women who are deemed to have brought dishonor onto their families – have existed in Pakistan for centuries. Women have been killed for such “offenses” as refusing to enter into arranged marriages, or dressing “inappropriately,” or even being the victims of sexual assaults.
Official statistics show that about 675 women were killed in the name of honor in the first nine months of 2011: (Reference, NewsWeek Report Dec 2011) While UN declares that more then 1000 women are killed every year in Pakistan, however which are only registered and reported cases, the cases of murders unreported are enormous!
Everyday a mother is forced to leave the world of her children, a girl is killed for mere suspicion or a woman raped and murdered in the name of so called Honor! A recent report declares almost a thousand reported cases every year! (http://tribune.com.pk/story/353572/nearly-1000-pakistan-women-killed-for-honour/)
A NEW STRATEGY TO FIGHT HONOR KILLINGS:
What is the Strategy?
We decided not to fight. But to use our enemies as our enemies as our Allies, instead of fighting against the traditions, we decided to promote whats the best.
Instead of fighting against the traditional ways of tribal villages, we at Sughar Women Program PROMOTE those traditions in order to end Honor Killings. We work directly with tribal leaders, influential men and mullahs in tribal villages of Pakistan to promote traditional customs such as MUSIC, LANGUAGE AND EMBROIDERY.
Once we have established a presence inside the village, and we have the strong support of its leaders on our side, we create Sughar Centers where village women are recruited to join for six months to have 2 hours of sessions everday on enterprise development, self awarenes, life skills, basic education and value addition of traditional embroidery.
What actually happens in the Sughar Centers?
In this Sughar Center, while going through their life changing experience of education and awraeness, women create beautiful embroidered products which have become a huge part of the fashion industry in Pakistan as Sughar is launched as Pakistan's first ever rural women fashion brand.
Upon graduating from the six-month course, each woman is offered a loan to start her own small business, thus promoting entrepreneurship, which greatly influences women’s power through ownership.
We are now working with 700 women in the Sindh and Balochistan provinces of Pakistan. Our goal is to open more Sughar Centers throughout Pakistan, one village at a time, to reach 1 million women in the next 10 years!
More Women and more villages need Sughar Centers. WE NEED YOUR HELP!
This year, we plan to train 400 more women leaders, by creating 6 more Sughar Centers in 6 Pakistani tribal villages where honor killing, along with child marriages and arranged marriages, are most prevalent. The funds we are raising will go to:
SHOP AT SUGHAR TO HELP SUGHAR WOMEN:
One of the most innovative aspects of Sughar program is that we have launhed Pakistan's first Tribal Fashion Brand to help earn more income for the women as well as give them the space they need in this big growing industry. Here is the video of the Fashion Brand Launch:
THE FUNDS ARE GOING TO BE USED FOR:
- Mobilization meetings with the tribal leaders and influential men of the villages
- Establishing the 6 Sughar centers for 30 women in each village
- Purchasing the modules, books, charts, learning material and embroidery material for women to take their 6-months course cycle
- Finishing and marketing the women’s embroidery products around Pakistan and abroad
- Providing loans to women after the 6-month course cycle to start their own businesses
- Shipping our embroidery products to the UK, USA and Australia for sales
HERE IS HOW YOU HELP:
Choose your fav Embroidery product created by tribal women in Pakistan and order on the right side by clicking on the same number of the perk.
Product # 1:
Dancing Camel Clutch
Product # 2:
Water Pot Clutch:
Product # 3:
Balochi Gaj Clutch:
Prodcut # 4:
Balochi Gaj Small Size
Product # 5:
Sughar Party Wear Code 001
Product # 6:
Sughar Pary Wear Code 002
Product # 7:
Tribal Hand Bag
Product # 8:
Rili Hand Bag
Product # 0:
The Frog Clutch
Other Ways You Can Help
Can’t give money right now? We totally understand. But there are other ways you can help Pakistani women:
- Send this link to three people who might want to shop at Sughar!
- Share on Twitter, Facebook or anywhere else you are online
- Help us spread the word, so that tribal women in Pakistan can lead lives of equality and security.
We thank you with all of our hearts for being with us in this fight. The impact we have been able to create so far – and the greater impact we are planning – wouldn’t be possible without people like you who believe in us, encourage and support us!