Due to a longstanding historical prejudice against women in business and a lack of access to capital, it’s hard for most women in Bangladesh to be entrepreneurs of any kind. However, thanks to a UNDP initiative, women like Kakuli Aktar are taking business initiatives into their own hands, one pair of pants at a time.
After being widowed with a child at age 14 and with only a seventh grade education, Kakuli was an unlikely success story. However, she refused to become another helpless statistic, and learned how to sew through a UN-supported training program. In 2008, she took out a loan from her local Community Development Committee and opened up her own tailoring shop, which now boasts a thriving business.
Not only is she now able to provide for herself and her son, but Kakuli is currently teaching two other girls how to sew through a UN-sponsored apprentice program. These women’s involvement in their communities, with the help of the UNDP, is helping to significantly break down social barriers by lifting women out of their traditional roles, and out of poverty.
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