Faces of Empowerment

Faces of Empowerment

August 27, 2020

by Ignacio Artaza, Resident Representative

In my almost 4 years in Pakistan, I have gotten the opportunity to learn much about this amazing country and its remarkable people. Sadly, I have not had the chance to learn much Urdu, but I have picked up little bits here and there. A very interesting idiom which I have learned is that “Man and woman are two wheels of the same cart”. Yet, one finds it interesting to observe that such an insight into the affairs of life has been so ingrained in the collective psyche of the people of Pakistan, has not become a practical part of their lives.

If life can be likened to a cart, then both the wheels have to be equal in size and must function equally well for the cart to travel anywhere. But such proverbial equality is not a reality in Pakistani society even though women are almost half of the population. Women are restricted to rigid gender roles that stem from a long-gone era. They are not given equal opportunity to study, to express themselves, to make their own choices, and to join a workforce.

Thanks to the continuous and unwavering support of our partners, giving women equal opportunities to grow and participate in life is part of UNDP’s mandate. And those who have become a part of our various projects, have demonstrated excellent initiative, intelligence, and passion. Their vibrance and the desire to excel is a beacon of light for everyone. There is no doubt in my mind that if more women were allowed the opportunities that are their due, Pakistan would progress further in leaps and bounds.

This brochure contains photographs of some of the outstanding women that we have had the privilege of working with. This brochure is a homage to the strength, resilience, and optimism of the women of Pakistan.