ISLAMABAD - The women of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), who have survived conflict, gathered at Lok Virsa on International Women's Day featuring the display of different professions that made them to earn a decent living.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) recognised the bravery and determination of the women of KP and the FATA who have endured loss, but are determined to resume a normal life for themselves and their families. Through the USAID funded Conflict Victims Support Programme, families and child survivors of conflict in KP and FATA receive economic, social and medical assistance, as well as scholarships. The vast majority of these survivors lost male family members, most often the main breadwinner, to violence and insecurity.
These women, through the USAID Conflict Support Programme, receive vocational training to improve their income earning ability thereby enabling them to provide financial support for their families after losing male family members. The scholarships provided to children enable them to continue their education. The women displayed the clothing, beauty skills and other vocational products.
"We suffered an emotional and financial blow, and I had to quit school when my father died in a bomb blast four years ago," said Laiqa, a 13-year old girl. "The USAID scholarship enabled me to resume my education. I would like to become a doctor to help others."
Laiqa's mother operates a small grocery store, made possible by a grant provided by USAID.
"I am grateful to USAID for helping me to support my family after losing my husband," said Nafeesa, who started a beauty parlour with financial support from USAID. "I recently was able to expand my business by adding a garment store."
"Women play an integral part in the development of a society, and I am sure that you will leave a legacy of hard work and bravery that your children will be proud of", said USAID Mission Director Gregory Gottlieb.
USAID's three-year, $25 million Conflict Victims Support Program is part of the comprehensive US assistance programme in Pakistan, which helps ensure increased opportunity for women's participation in the labour force; the expansion of girls' access to quality basic education; improvement in maternal and child health; and the promotion of women's political, economic, and social rights.