Somewhere in a village called Mehrab Solangi in Hyderabad, Pakistan, lives 42 year old Sara Solangi with her husband and two children.
As a community group member and a beneficiary of a Women’s Leadership training program, Sara is a force to be reckoned with. She has been campaigning for fair and equal access to water for her village for the last three years and has lead the way for many women to raise their voices to be heard by the feudal lords and local ministries.
What is unique about Sara’s situation is the unwavering support from her husband, who unlike most men in their village, openly dotes on his wife. He encourages her to speak up at meetings and helps her equally with all household chores.
Sara knows that she is incredibly lucky to have such a partner in her life;
“During Ramazan, when I wanted to go into Ehtikaf (solitary worship), he did not hesitate to take over running the household for the few weeks that I was away. Sometimes the people in our village make fun of him but I personally think they are all jealous!”
In order to give back to the community, Sara and her husband let the local school use a room in their house to conduct classes out of. They say that it brings them happiness to be of use to the village and the children. Sara admits that she never studied beyond primary level and enjoys sitting in the classes occasionally.
Together, the couple have two children who were born after nearly eleven years of marriage.
“For many years, I thought I would never be able to have children. My husband was so loving and supportive even during that time and then finally we were blessed with a son and shortly after our daughter was born.”
Photos and text: ©Khaula Jamil/Oxfam Australia