Prize for Women's
Creativity in Rural Life

32 Laureates awarded in 2002

"By honoring a woman, we honor a whole nation"

Asia Pakistan

Amber Balouch

Fighting women's exclusion from education.
Amber Balouch (25), from the village of Ketti Khushk (Teshil Kandiaro, Khaipur, Sindh), grew up in a culture where women are not allowed to get an education. Lucky to have parents who rejected these customs and allowed her to study, Amber decided to dedicate her life to uplift rural women and began working in 1995 with non-governmental organisations. In 1999, she created the Society for Women Development, working in the Khaipur district of Sindh. Working day and night scheduling meetings with villagers, she created the "Project for the establishment of Non-formal Basic Education Community Schools". She opened non-formal basic education schools in 37 villages, serving 420 boys and 825 girls, and created two vocational training centers for training women in sewing, dressmaking, embroidery, glass and fabric painting thus enabling them to earn an income. This demanded courage and perseverance to motivate men to allow the women to attend these trainings. Little by little the success of her programs ended up convincing them. Amber has also opened a display center to sell handicrafts made by the women.

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