Driving change for young women - Kaainat's story
Like many young women in Pakistan, 25-year-old Kaainat Junejo faces several barriers to work, including restrictions on mobility. Through her involvement with EYW, she has gained the confidence to speak out and innovate for change.
As a Psychology graduate, Kaainat dreamed of pursuing a career in this field, but given the limited opportunities she applied for jobs in a range of areas. Time and again, she faced rejection due to lack of experience. Then she heard about the EYW Innovation Hub in her home city, Jamshoro. This gives young people the skills to find work and collectively push for better jobs and conditions.
“My friend introduced me to the EYW project. I took part in the 10-day training on job readiness. This included life skills, business skills and a job placement, where I learned how to create a CV and perform well in interviews.”
Before taking part in EYW, Kaainat lacked the confidence to speak out. Yet within six months of joining the project, she was proud to be one of 10 individuals selected to lead the job-readiness training at the Hub. Kaainat willingly took on the role of trainer and Youth Innovator, and already she and her peers have found job placements for more than 200 young people, including several young women.
Challenging the system
Women in Jamshoro and its rural surroundings often have to travel to neighbouring Hyderabad for work, and many of the available jobs are on a commission-only basis. This means the women’s meagre earnings are often swallowed up by transport costs. Kaainat and the other Youth Innovators have therefore been working to persuade organizations not only to hire women, but to offer them fixed salaries as well as commission. They have had some success, and in one case they even managed to convince a school in Kotri to provide transport for its female staff.
Kaainat is still trying to find the right job for herself, but feels much better equipped to do so with the skills and confidence she has gained from EYW. She says: “I have started receiving positive responses. I’ve been offered jobs in Nawabshah and Karachi, but my parents refused to let me go because these cities are far from home. I dream of doing a PhD and staring my own clinical practice one day, even if it means working in another city.”
Kaainat’s message to her peers is: “Whatever you do, do it with interest and you will be successful.”
To learn more about the Innovation Hubs, Click Here