Shameem Akhtar: To learn is to be free
Shameem Akhtar is a teacher working to empower girls in Sindh, a province in the southeast of Pakistan. Full bio
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or ten years old,
of the room, surrounded by books.
her female cousins and friends,
instead of the school,
to get an education alongside boys.
girls' school in her village.
are a matter of honor.
her parents wanted a baby boy.
a baby girl arrived.
to keep girls inside the homes.
a university graduate,
an opportunity to see the world,
that can be used for both men and women.
to change her course of life.
a baby girl, to baby boy.
small, everyday injustices
from the eldest man to the youngest man.
for high school for further study
her to travel on her own,
to walk you there and back.
offers to teach her
who is talking before you now.
have been fighting for their identity.
because of their identity,
in society, wherever you live.
I hate this question of identity.
are being denied their basic rights
if I hadn't been raised as a boy.
to learn, to be free.
in college was not easy for me.
for me to go to university,
his attention, to my younger brothers.
secure jobs and support the family.
to become a lady health visitor.
Rural Development Program,
working to empower rural communities.
to interview for a position.
from my home I have ever been.
I have ever been.
of his daughter crossing the border.
to accept the position in Thardeep.
all my things in a bag,
my father's room and told him,
the bus is going to come in.
and take me to the bus station.
was standing beside me
the importance of words.
an important role in our lives.
are more powerful than fighting.
which I didn't know,
than I had realized.
I had a difficult life.
of Pakistan were experiencing.
but nothing to feed them.
three hours every day to wells.
32 kilometers away.
to get to the hospital.
she may die on her way.
more than just a job for me.
were noticing this.
the importance of education.
started sending their daughters to school.
out of school in my village.
in health sites, even in police.
beyond my village
when I joined Acumen Fellowship.
across the country.
risks in their lives.
in a remote school,
every morning and evening.
staring back at me --
which I had in my childhood.
but the school is understaffed.
to help me to teach.
to the outside world
of the world's best leaders,
and Nelson Mandela.
went to college.
my PhD in education --
a management position
educating the girls,
ABOUT THE SPEAKERShameem Akhtar - Writer, social worker
Shameem Akhtar is a teacher working to empower girls in Sindh, a province in the southeast of Pakistan.
Why you should listen
Shameem Akhtar is a dedicated and enthusiastic development professional, with special interest in the field of gender, education, social mobilization, emergency/relief, management and literature. She is also engaged in research studies in rural development, doing PhD work at the University of Sindh. She is a member of the Individual Land Organization (Friedrich Naumann Stiftung) and was selected by Acumen Pakistan Fellows 2015 for their one-year course.
Akhtar frequently contributes to print media and literary magazines, work that has brought her close to the study of important social issues like malnutrition, child labor, marginalization and other core problems of the province. She has been active in the training of teachers, children, women and other segments of society in the fields of education, health, livelihood and disaster management under the banner of prestigious organizations in the social service sector.
Shameem Akhtar | Speaker | TED.com