According to a United Nations report, every year, thousands of women in Pakistan fall prey to honour killings. There are thousands more who are married off at the age of nine or 10. As per BBC, the country’s Human Rights Commission said that there were 900 women who suffered sexual violence and nearly 800 women attempted suicide or took their own lives. Established by Khalida Brohi, Sughar Empowerment Society aims to resolve these issues by tapping women’s innate potential.
According to The Nation, when Khalida was 16, she witnessed the honour killing of a close friend who married without her family’s consent. This incident inspired her to establish the Sughar Empowerment Society, a non-profit organisation that believes that lack of education, awareness, and the right to decision making are major reasons for crimes against women.
The organisation aims to provide opportunities for skill development and leadership training for rural and tribal women such that they can survive and lead independent lives. As per Global Living, centres are set up in villages where six-month training in basic education, traditional embroidery, and other skills is provided. This training involves making these women aware of their rights through exposure visits and session from external tutors.
The tribal and rural women are given loans to start their own endeavours once they graduate. During Khalida’s TED talk, she said,
We were challenging centuries-old customs in these communities. They stood up saying we were spreading un-Islamic behaviour. We were standing against the core values of people, challenging their code of honour and hurting them deeply in the process.
Once she realised the negative impact it might have, she apologised and convinced the tribal leaders to come on board by touching upon one of their treasured skills—embroidery. The idea worked, and she was able to create these training centres.
Khalida has also realised the importance of educating men. In her TED talk, she said,
Every month, even if it’s two men sharing things, we make it such a big deal. We clap for them and show what a hero they are. Every month, more men get inspired. When they tell that story in front of everyone, the whole village claps for them.