Being woman is not easy especially if you are born in a patriarchal society of Quetta, Pakistan. Majority of women living in the tribal context of Quetta have long being denied basic rights such as acquiring education. Therefore many elderly women and many women from the underprivileged backgrounds of my society are still illiterate and do not have access to any sort of publicly or privately adult education classes. This is sad state of affairs considering that women are building blocks of any nation and women empowerment is the cornerstone of a nation’s success.
However, this issue has been understood by the organization, Women Initiators, which has launched Adult Learner Classes to tackle the issue. Through the project of Adult Learner Classes (ALC), Women Initiators support women from all ages and backgrounds and have made basic education accessible to common woman. It has filled the lives of women with happiness and light of knowledge and allowed women to have a taste of education which the adult learners describe to be “sweeter than the honey”.
Safia shares her experience of being an adult learner as, “I have improved very well. Now I can understand Urdu and English alphabets. I can make sentences. I can understand what the words mean. And I love to get awareness about these all. Now I can read my husband’s name. I can examine my child’s progress reports. I also can tell which subject my child gets low marks and which subject he is performing well. Moreover, I can understand the name of medicines and the expiry date of various products”.
Another adult learner Ms Hafiza narrates, “At first I couldn’t read and write, but now reading and writing is easy for me. I can even help my son in his studies. I can save the contact numbers of everyone in my cellphone mobile and make phone calls without any assistance. I can read and understand the receipts and bills with ease. I can proudly say that I can write my name and my family member’s name.”
As a member of Women Initiators, observing firsthand how the Adult Learner Classes have changed the lives of these women gives me a great sense of accomplishment. Not only it has an impact of the lives of these women but also positively affected the lives of their families, their relatives, friends and people with whom they interact on daily basis. Just by giving basic education to women, the ALC has made the collective life of all these different members of society much easier and meaningful.
Written by Ms Masooma