Sameen (Pakistan): How I gained respect in my community

Sameen: ‘My community now has faith in me’

Because of poverty, a lack of education, and restrictions on their mobility, few young women in rural Pakistan work outside their homes. 

Sameen Batool has overcome these limitations and won respect in her community by building a flourishing social enterprise that employs six other women.

Sameen credits a British Council programme called Active Citizens with giving her the confidence and skills to develop a plant nursery business as a way to create jobs that are deemed socially acceptable for women.

My community now has faith in me. I have developed my confidence and I can deal with all types of people

She started her social enterprise on a shoestring budget in her backyard in 2013 but has since moved into a neighbouring enclosed lot and, thanks to contracts supplying bigger nurseries and Pakistan’s Department of Agriculture, she plans to expand yet again, with a view to generating more income and more job opportunities for women.  

As a result, says Sameen, “my community now has faith in me. I have developed my confidence [and] I can deal with all types of people.”

Sameen is one of 60,000 people in Pakistan who have received training through Active Citizens.

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