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Raised As A Boy; Changing Norms Since Birth

August 8, 2017
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Shamim Akhter

Shamim was born in a rural village in Sindh, belonging to a conservative and patriarchal Baloch caste. Females were not allowed to go out in her family, however, by luck and her Taya’s insistence, she was ‘raised as a boy’ where she would wear shorts and go to school.

From the beginning, shamim knew that women in her household were not treated as they should be – and decided to bring change. Despite her father stopping her from getting further education, Shamim fought her way till 12th grade. During her journey, she was constantly reminded that her place is at home only. Keeping the spirit alive, Shamim did not give up, instead joined a female health program when her father refused to send her to university. It is there that she found out about Thardeep Rural Development Program. At TRDP, Shamim saw the adversities around her and it became her passion to help her community in any way possible. She put her sweat and blood into it. Her passion also helped other girls in her community as she become a role model for them and their parents, who now wanted their girls to study as well.

Currently, she is working as a teacher in a school near to where her parents live, driven by her love for education and strong belief in it.

“As a teacher, I now have exposure to more than 50 girls every year. Imagine what can happen if I teach for 10 years. I might be a small change agent, but I’m creating all of these other change agents. I can only hope they go out into the world and create something big together.”

-Shamim

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