Under the umbrella of Women Empowerment Program, GEAR has different projects for women belonging to underprivileged urban and rural areas.
GEAR Women Artisan initiative in Sindh and Balochistan
A number of female artisans in local communities don’t have access to economic opportunities due to lack of basic education and market knowledge. These women artisans of Sindh are highly skilled in traditional crafts and in designing various hand-made heritage products such as Quilts (رلی), Embroidered dresses, Pillow cover, Paranday etc. GEAR TRUST is extending its support to Women Artisans of Sindh by identifying skilled local females and building their capacity by providing them market connectivity and networking opportunities. These women artisans are identified through initial field work and screened by area field managers. GEAR Trust promotes Handicrafts made by women artisans for better market connectivity using social media and circle of influence. Moreover, GEAR and DARAZ has joint hands to onboard these women artisans’ hand-made crafts for sale to the larger marketplace.
GEAR Women Self-Employment Program
Another ongoing project is GEAR Women Self-employment in which women from less-privileged socio-economic class are provided interest-free micro-loans for facilitating their home-based self-employment, helping them to connect with the market and providing follow-up and support.
The funded loan amount is invested to build/expand sustainable business ventures. The main trade categories in which women beneficiaries are working include Clothing/Stitching/Apparel, Food & Cooking, Salon & Cosmetics, and Online work. GEARs dedicated field officers surveys and identifies these skilled women from less privileged areas within Karachi e.g., Baldia town, Korangi, Malir, Johar, North Karachi, &Orangi Town etc.Following isthe data of women beneficiaries benefited in the past in different trades:
- Total Number of women funded cases (June 2021 – Feb 2023) = 1070
- Women Beneficiaries trade wise:
- – Clothing: 770
- – Food & cooking: 55
- – Salon & cosmetics: 100
- – Online work: 55
- – Miscellaneous and other: 90