Thursday November 30, 2023

Women empowering women: Breaking the bias in Pakistan

March 28, 2022

Islamabad : There is a long-held myth that women are each other’s worst enemies. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Even though Pakistan is riddled with problems, it is filled with beautiful motivational stories of its people, particularly womenfolk striving to achieve and support their families and nation at large.

From the snow-laden mountains of Gilgit in the North to the industrial hub in the South, the nation has a good amount of such females who are breaking the bias and attaining great feats.

Nomad Art Gallery’s founder Nageen Hayat, is a household name who started her journey years ago in 1984. She has dedicated herself to promoting local arts and heritage and supporting local artisans particularly females in reaching their customers.

More females are participating on the economic front.

“When women don’t understand and support the growth of their own, this hampers the prosperity of the nation,” the entrepreneur said.

Shua Khalid, the co-founder of a continuous learning platform Atomcamp, initiated the distinctive project Wecamp, short for women entrepreneurs, to encourage more female participation in economic activity and give a boost to the existing home-based female entrepreneurs.

“This initiative focuses on women entrepreneurs as they constitute a largely untapped market with potential for immense economic contribution,” Wecamp manager Naheed Ali said adding that the aim of the organisation was to financially empower these home-based female entrepreneurs by increasing the visibility of their brands, enabling market linkages, enhancing networking and learning opportunities, and digital skills training.

Across the seas, Naureen Ijaz Qazi, who owns online stationery and hand-crafted journal brand Hiba creations, is another shining example of women of substance.

The small venture she started from her humble abode in 2017 has grown popular not only in her homeland but beyond as well.

The brand has reignited the love for journaling and handcrafted stationery among locals.

80 per cent of the shoppers of her products are from her native country Pakistan and the majority of them are women buyers.

“It will be surprising to note that housewives are more enthusiastic purchasers of my hand-crafted items,” Naureen remarked.

In the serene capital, childhood female friends have been active for 16 years in providing shelter, personal and professional development to destitute womenfolk.

Founder Irum Mumtaz and her friends founded Bazeecha Trust to impart life skills, quality education and acquire vocational training to the females left shelterless due to the disastrous earthquake of 2005. Glancing over to the city of lights in the South, two friends from Karachi, Kamila Rahim Habib and Erum Sultan started their small venture online, to revive the book reading culture and serve bookworms in major cities nationwide via multiple membership tiers and a wide range of literary works of both international and local authors.

Zaira Rizvi, the brains behind The Happiness Bazaar, began her journey to lend a helping hand to online creatives like her struggling to expand their audience.

Initially, it was not easy to get creative sellers onboard and manage it all, but with support from family and friends, it went well.

We are expecting to increase the number of creatives as the pandemic has become less severe.

After the success of previous events, more people want to join and set up their stalls.

Pakistani women are second to none when it comes to pushing forward and giving their blood, sweat, and tears to whichever endeavour they undertake.

There are more of these warriors and many more can arise, if and only if the womenfolk believe less in the judgments roaming around about their own kind and instead on the good they are capable of or contributing.