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Personalized Journey!

I was born in North Africa and spent most years of my teen life on the sunny Mediterranean island of Malta! I moved back to Pakistan at the age of 17 which was a bit of a culture shock with respect to people’s lifestyle. Despite being a developing nation, I started to observe so many habits, customary practices and behaviours in the people in my surrounding communities which did not aide their livelihoods but further exacerbated their economic situation. They were depressed and oppressed but they still decided to have eight children. They did not get good jobs due to lack of education but still allowed social barriers to hinder their girls from getting any education or learn skills.

This was something that I could not close my eyes to. I was preparing to go to university while girls around me were still not able to write their name! After a few sittings with the community women in sub-urban areas of Multan city, I knew I was not there without a reason; I had to do my part in making the change happen! The journey was not an easy one as I was still studying but I managed to work for the economic uplift of 63 young women in vocational training center through an initiative I started with the name ‘Peoples Development Organization.’ We held numerous events for awareness-raising on women and youth rights and managed to sensitize and educate hundreds of women about their social, political, and economic roles in the society.

I was one of the first young women in Southern Punjab who spoke eloquently about the discriminatory laws against women, like Hudood Ordinance and inhumane customary practices like Karo Kari, (form of honour killing) marriage to the Quran and issue of ‘forced disappearances’ by security agencies during Musharraf regime, both at public forums and with women living in depressed communities. It was not an easy task to work via volunteers and community group leaders but I feel it is worth it when I see those young skillful women financially supporting themselves and their families. They will remain empowered and no social and economic barrier can stop them from leading a dignified life even if they are still half witnesses according to state law!

Due to my involvements, I was full of exciting stories about outstanding and courageous women in remote areas who were coming up with innovative solutions to combat everyday challenges in their lives. Most of the stories were limited to the shelves of some organizational reports as the local media did not have space for them. I came across the World Pulse through twitter. I feel this is where my personal vision and the VoF at World Pulse connected. I am an avid user of some social media tools and had been planning to blog lately. I felt this was some place where I could connect, inform, learn and share and may be have links women with similar vision. And I am not disappointed!

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Comments

pheebsabroad's picture

What an amazing story! You

What an amazing story! You are such a strong motivated person to continue to work to improve the lives of your neighbors in the face of such severe poverty and oppression.

Pheobe

Iffat Gill's picture

Thank you!

Thank you for the encouraging words.

Iffat Gill

busayo's picture

Great!!!!

Such a wonderful story, you are in the right place Rose.

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Iffat Gill's picture

I am honoured

Hi, thank you for taking time to read my story and for the comment. I am glad to be listened to!

Iffat Gill

ShukThi's picture

Hello Rose

I am glad to be one of the Listeners for your journey through Voices of the Future. Your work so far, and your motivation to spread the stories of courageous women more widely seems like a perfect fit for what Pulse Wire is trying to do.

World Pulse is indeed a world of empowering stories and a world where voices that would normally not be heard widely get a platform.

I applaud you for noticing something around you, in your community, and taking practical steps to do something about it.

Your post was an easy read. Great use of HTML!

I think one thing that would have made it stronger is if you shared with us, a more concrete vision of how your personal vision and World Pulse connect. I feel you just started writing about it, and then had to stop because of the word limit!

Keep sharing your excellent ideas here. I feel honoured to be able to hear your story, as wel as the story of other women that your organization has helped.

ShukThi

Iffat Gill's picture

Word Limit!

Dear Shuk Thi,

Thank you for listening, and your feedback. It is true that once I start getting to the point, you are out of space to write more, which means that I need to work on writing more concisely and editing skills. I will keep that in mind and hope to learn a lot through this exercise.

Best

Iffat Gill

bougeotte's picture

Hi Again

Rose,
Even though I am not technically reviewing this week, I wanted to see how you progressed, and let me just say - Wow!
I see a big improvement this week. Your story was clear and focused and riveting. I felt myself living your life during the moments I read. Also, nice job explaining meanings of terms.
Your strength of leadership is shining through this week. I look forward to next week.
Now you are one of my heroes - keep up the amazing work and outreach and I look forward to hearing the women's stories.
Terri

Iffat Gill's picture

Glad to hear that!

Dear Terri,

Thank you for taking time to read my story and commenting on it, even though you were not reviewing this week. I am also feeling very encouraged from your input on the piece.
Best,
Rose.

Iffat Gill

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