Stepping Out Of The Shadows, Karachi Pakistan © MFF Pakistan/Sustainable Initiatives, Karachi, 2015
Women in Kakapir Village, Karachi economically empowered through innovative Technical Education and Vocational Training (TEVT) and market development approaches
Kakapir is a 100 year old village rooted some 15 km Southwest of Karachi, facing the Arabian Sea. The village evidently lacks basic civic amenities. Electricity became available in the 90s whereas gas pipeline was laid in 2003, even then it is not supplied to every household and many people still rely on mangroves for fuel wood. There is an acute shortage of portable water and literacy rate in both males and females is abysmally low. Since fishing is the only skill they know, it is difficult to accommodate them in other professions. Their dependency on natural resources is evident from the fact that majority of them see fishing as their sole means of earning. Although being part of Pakistan’s financial hub, only a minute minority has explored other options of livelihoods. Secondly, the poverty levels are alarmingly on a rise in fishing villages, further increasing their dependency on natural resources.
It is now established that women play a significant role in socio and economic wellbeing of their families and communities which are dependent on natural resources. However, at the same time women face numerous challenges due to their restricted mobility. Kakapir is a conservative community where women are not allowed to venture out on their own. They neither have employability options nor income generation skills because of which their productive role is almost non-existent. Very few have access to formal income opportunities hence their productive role is diminished.
Sustainable Initiatives (SI) under small grants project aims to develop the productive capacity of local women, without challenging their cultural values, by providing them Technical and Vocational Training in their community and at the same time instituting a system in which their products are marketed by the young men of the same village. The project intends to provide alternate livelihood opportunities to a coastal village, which is solely dependent on fishing. The Technical and vocational training with a strong focus on creating sustainable market linkages will open opportunities for women and youth in the community to seek other and more profitable income options which in turn will reduce dependency on fishing as an only means of livelihood.
Fisher folk women of village Kakapir near Sandspit, Karachi.
The project is designed to engage the marginalized groups including women and youth in Kakapir village due to poor literacy, mobility issues, and limited income opportunities. The diversification of income options for the fisherfolk household will also contribute to building resilience capacity of the beneficiaries against the risks of climate change and other disasters.
1st Oct 2014 to 30th Jun 2015
Sustainable Initiatives Karachi, PKR128,000 (in-kind)
Sustainable Initiatives (SI), Karachi
Seema Khurram, Executive Director
“I am planning to start a training centre for hand embroidery in the community school and have talked to the principal. I will charge a nominal fee to cover the material cost. This training will help the girls learn something useful for their future. Currently, I am working on four orders for my cousin’s wedding, and it is so much fun (Ms. Aisha, a trained girl from the Kakapir village).”