Raising Self-Esteem of Young Girls in Pakistan

by Dawood Global Foundation - Educate a Girl
Raising Self-Esteem of Young Girls in Pakistan

In Pakistan, young girls face discrimination due to their colour of skin, and so many of these girls are minorities.  Their skin colour is not just a hindrance to the job market, but often attracts rude or derogatory comments on both appearance and ethnicity. In this Christmas season, we met with many young girls who were Christians living in Karachi who had darker skin tones and their experiences were layered with ethnicity, religion in addition to colour. Thanks to your donations - and please do spread the word and keep it coming - we are now working on campaign to address their particular needs and struggles and help their voices to be heard.  Mainstream Pakistani society needs awareness on these issues and thanks to you, we are striving to make it possible.

Angie, 15, is a young Christian girl who was promised in marriage at age 14.  Her forced marriage and early pregnancy was struggle enough but when her elderly husband started to beat her, she ran away.  Trying to get a job was a struggle, and the colourism against her skin, didn't help.  She darker hues added another layer to the discrimination she faced when sharing her story.  She wants simply to be judged for who she is, her capabilities and her dreams, and not her skin colour.

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It's simply not acceptable to judge someone by their skin colour.  Young girls need to be encouraged to recognize good character, strong work ethic and a well-rounded personality are what matters, not just physical appearance, and certainly not skin colour.  It's further dangerous and potentially cancer-causing to take skin-lightening creams.

Angie, 16, a girl based in Karachi, has dark skin of her ancestors, and always feels less beautiful because of others commenting on it. They don't even just comment behind her back, but often to her face, with not just disparaging phrases, but even well-meaning, "Poor Angie!"

This is unacceptable. It's not just about upbringing, nor is it only the parents' responsibility to develop self-esteem. We as a society should and must open the doors of opportunity and eradicate the ugliness of prejudice.

#EAGSkinColour is working to create consistent programming to change the dialogue. Thank you for helping us make a difference, for helping us to transform lives.

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There are enough challenges for young girls in the world, and especially in Pakistan, that color of skin should definitely not be one. Or at least, not anymore.

Young girls in 2022 have the double burden of need to be perfect daughters and sisters and granddaughters, all the while serving guests, cooking, cleaning and always being polite and perfect, while simultaneously they now have to excel in school and have money-earning careers of their own.

Although girls are by large now either entrepreneurs are working in jobs, they are still raised at two and expected to do the majority of all house work and take care of family responsibility. It's a rare sight to enter someone's home, and have their son serve you a welcome drink and snack. That hospitality still by and large falls completely on the young girls and women of the house, In their own house let alone in their in-laws.

With all these responsibilities, young girls are to their face commented on by guests and family members, let alone their parents, on their beauty and all too often the color of their skin being a main criteria of that beauty.

Recently, celebrity couple Shoaib Malik and Sania Mirza made Headlines all over the world for sania eating specific food while pregnant so her child would be fair. 

This Colorism needs to stop. Your funds are going towards activities to combat this very ugly, painful and toxic Colorism. Please spread the word and continue to give. Thank you!

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The Colour of skin should not stand in the way of your dreams. We started this project because colorism is real. Even in 2022, Too many people judge others by the color of their skin, and in the case of Pakistan, it is the young girls who get the brunt of this behavior.

We began with the summit, thanks to your support, and our working towards workshops to help improve the self-esteem of these young girls.

From a very young age, they are taught that the color of their skin is a handicap, a barrier, an obstacle… to their dreams, hopes and desires. Whether career or marriage.

Your contribution not only works toward improving their beaten-down self-esteem, but also in breaking down society's prejudices and damaging long-standing behavior patterns. 

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Unilever public add released to go viral
Unilever public add released to go viral

Unilever Pakistan announced Glow & Lovely as the new name for the Fair & Lovely brand, according to their official press release. "This is the next step in the evolution of its skin care portfolio to a more inclusive vision of ‘Positive Beauty’. Over the next few months, Glow & Lovely will be on the shelves and future innovations will deliver on this new proposition. In 2019, the brand’s communication moved away from benefits of fairness, whitening and skin lightening, towards glow, even tone, skin clarity and radiance which are holistic measures of healthy skin. The brand has never been and is not a bleaching product. The brand is committed to celebrating all skin tones, which will be reflected in the rebranded product’s communications and messaging."

It's no coincidence that this change has come after a global movement against colorism and of course Educate a Girl Skin Colour, our summit dedicated to combating and changing negative sterotypes and barriers faced by women and girls with darker complexions.

Your funds have had powerful impact, impact that may be felt for decades more. Thank you!  You should feel very proud of yourself.

Please continue to give and spread the word so we can arrange more programming that will make the world a fairer, but not necessarily 'fair coloured" place. 

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Organization Information

Dawood Global Foundation - Educate a Girl

Location: Karachi, Sindh - Pakistan
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @ladiesfund
Project Leader:
Tara Dawood
Karachi, Sindh Pakistan
$928 raised of $10,000 goal
4 donations
$9,072 to go
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