By Almas Akhtar, TMO
Sec. Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama (L) congratulate Shad Begum of Pakistan March 8, 2012.
SHAD BEGUM, a courageous lady from Pakistan who has been awarded the â€œ International Women of Courage Awardâ€ by the US Government.
Shad Begum is a simple lady who is from the Dir area of Northern Pakistan. She grew up in an extremely conservative area of Pakistan where women donot work outside the house.Shad Begum worked hard for â€œEmpowering Womenâ€.She created Anjuman Behbud e Khawateen of Talash (association for women of Talash area) which was later transformed into the Association for Behaviour and Knowledge Transformation (ABKT).
She started helping people in her community in the year 2000 and was elected a â€œTehsil Councilerâ€(community representative).Her organization helped women acquire loans for small businesses and cottage industries, build hanging bridges and pavement of roads.She has also worked with the provincial and national governments to create health awareness among women.She wants to build high schools for girls in her area which has only one high school compared to seven boys high schools.
Shad Begum was presented International Women of Courage Award by First Lady Michelle Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the eve of International Womenâ€™s Day on 8th March 2012, in Washington DC.She is a role model for all women of the world who believe that they have the power to improve their own lives and also the lives of others around them!