Chronicles of carpentry: Women Social Enterprise - Program Developed by Aga Khan Foundation PakistanNestled under the mountains of the scenic Hunza valley – a rare, utopic area in Gilgit-Baltistan that boasts a near perfect literacy rate – are two neat workshops, spread over two and a half canals of land.

This is the workspace Rubina turned to after completing her twelfth year of education and finding a severe lack of job opportunities. On her sister-in-law’s advice, she joined the 58 women that make up a carpentry group – one that has already produced orders worth Rs5 million during the last 6 months.

“Because of my work, I now have a sense of responsibility,” says the young Rubina. “I am happy.”

Carving out productive spaces

It was in 2003 that a pilot project known as Women Social Enterprise (WSE) was launched in Hunza. Under the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN), it aimed to provide poor families income opportunities by professionally engaging young girls.  With…

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