Equality and empowerment for women in rural Pakistan starts with economic independence. The Taliban conflict and massive floods in Swat have created thousands of widows in the Swat Valley, who have no means of support. For this reason, SRI and the Roshni Centre for Women started Vocational Training Centers (VTCs) and sewing centers for women to teach them skills that will help them become independent and earn a living.
The Vocational Training Centers provide a space for women to learn marketable skills, and are given toolkits and sewing machines so that they can start a business to provide for their families. At the VTC, women also get moral support, and can join a women’s group where they can identify their problems and solve them with others in the same situation.