Block ID: #section–hero-page-block_5f48d97ad68f6
Block ID: #section–text-block_5f3d046fcdcf2

Women in Pakistan

Even if the Pakistani constitution has stipulated equality between men and women since 1973, the reality in the predominantly Muslim country is very different. Life in Pakistan is shaped by old customs and traditions. Many girls are married very young. Forced marriage is not only a tradition among followers of the Muslim faith, but rather arose from a common cultural tradition that also lives on in the few Christian families. Women do not play a major role in Pakistan’s public life. They are rarely seen in the street and when they are, they are usually accompanied by their husbands. The Taliban’s influence is still great, especially in the areas bordering Afghanistan. Violence and oppression plague the lives of women there.

But Pakistan’s history was also shaped by its remarkable women: Benazir Bhutto was the first woman to head an Islamic state. She was Prime Minister from 1988 to 1997 and, among many other causes, also strove to advance the rights of women in her country. One young girl who recently made history is Malala Yousafzai. She fought for girls’ right to an education and, as an internationally known blogger, drew attention to their grievances. Malala survived an attack by the Taliban seriously injured and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, at the age of 17.

Block ID: #section–text-block_5f3d15e58ee6d

Self-determination through education

Women with an advanced education are still a minority in Pakistan. A good education is the prerequisite for holding a professional job and thus leading a self-determined life. In the field of medicine, women are especially welcome in Pakistan, as women are not allowed to see a male doctor.

Block ID: #section–slider-images-block_5f3c026c75cef
Surgeon Dr. Sumera
Surgeon Dr. Tahera
Orthodontist Dr.-Qurat-ul-Ain
Sobia Ashfaq, the speech therapist
Our head surgeon Prof. Ganatra with students
Block ID: #section–text-block_5f3c03d375cf6

Women in our Team Pakistan

Since 2016 Prof. Ashraf Ganatra has been leading our aid project in Pakistan. In his team he relies on the support of three women: the surgeon Dr. Sumera, orthodontist Dr. Qurat-ul-Ain and speech therapist Ms.Sobia Ashfaq. Prof. Ganatra is also committed to helping young women. The young surgeon Dr. Tahera is a qualified Maxillofacial surgeon, interested in learning Cleft surgery. She is regularly attending operating sessions, absorbing the tips and tricks of the cleft craft under the direct supervision of Prof Ganatra.

Medical students also off and on become part of the cleft mission and help the poor cleft patients by counselling and looking after their petty needs. They also have access to the operating roonms to get a direct insight into this specialist discipline.

We are very pleased that our project in Pakistan, thanks to Prof. Ganatra’s commitment, is making a contribution to strengthening the role of women in Pakistan in addition to the medical aid it provides.

Block ID: #section–cleft-color-block-with-columns-text-block_6221257bc098f
Five good reasons to donate for cleft children
We dedicate ourselves to a single cause: Treating children with cleft lip and palate. In our project countries, we offer direct medical help for the needy patients and their families. Measurable in the number of surgeries offered.
Whereever the situation in our project countries allows, we fund additional necessary followup therapies beyond the surgeries, such as speech therapy or orthodontics.
Every treatment is documented by our doctors in the project countries in our patient database and verified by us. This way we know that the donations entrusted to us are used properly.
Our goal always is to build sustainable, independently functioning structures in our project countries. To achieve this, we build up long-term partnerships and keep in close touch with our local partners.
The German Central Institute for Social Matters (DZI) certifies that we use the donations entrusted to us responsibly and properly manner. We have held this certificate continuously since 2012.
Block ID: #section–line-buttons-block_62212820c0996

From our projects
The story of Maui, cleft child from Colombia
Our new project to help children with cleft lip and palate in Colombia begins with a very unusual case. Maui was born with a cleft lip and palate. His parents belong to an indigenous people and do not know how to get him the help he needs. By a happy coincidence, Julia, a Swiss woman living in Colombia, is a neighbor of the family and offers to help. In search of treatment options, she comes across Deutsche Cleft Kinderhilfe.
Video: Impressions from Bolivia
The parents of our cleft children are always full of gratitude. When their child is born with cleft, they often do not know what to make of the malformation, much less that it can be treated. And even if they do - most of our little patients come from the poorest of backgrounds. Their parents could never afford the operation. It is an unimaginable happiness for them to learn that their children can receive qualified treatment, and free of charge even. This wonderful, touching film from our Bolivian aid project captures these special moments of happiness.
Video: Impressions from Pakistan
This film, made for our Pakistani partner organization, the Al-Mustafa Welfare Societey, by the father of one of our patients, shows scenes from our work in Karachi. From here, our senior surgeon Prof. Ashraf Ganatra treats cleft children from poorest families. He operates the children from Karachi at the Al Mustafa Medical Center. In order to reach the many needy families living outside the city, he also regularly heads out to local provincial hospitals to treat cleft patients there.