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Farkhanda was trapped in a cycle of poverty with worries over her house, food and education for her children. Her husband earned a minimal wage and struggled to support the family, creating tensions in her household.

Farkhanda recalls: “I became very ill and there was a lot of stress. I thought what am I going to do? There was no food in the house- we had nothing.

“When it rained we stayed up all night and the children slept. We were worried that the walls or roof might fall down. Water came in on the ground and we tried to take it out with our hands.”

Eventually, Farkhanda decided to take steps to earn money by sewing clothes for other women, but had to overcome many obstacles from a society hostile to the idea of a woman stepping out of the house to work.

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