More DW Blogs DW.COM

Women Talk Online

A forum for women to talk to women

Women Are Not a Burden for the Economy

© Roheena Sajid

© Roheena Sajid

An exhibition was organized in the Pakistan-china Friendship Centre in Islamabad a few months ago. I visited the centre to attend the exhibition, and met many women who came there from different areas of Pakistan to present their work. When I saw their art work, I was pleasantly surprised. Each and every piece was so dedicatedly made that I fell in love with the work.

Most of the women entrepreneurs who attended the exhibition were from far off regions of the country and were exhibiting handicrafts. Things for daily use were the most common. There were hand-bags, designer clothes, table covers, decoration pieces, fruit baskets, wooden tea- saucers, copper vases and jewelry items etc.

I talked to the stall holders and asked about their work. I found that most of the art work was done by women, who live in villages and are not well-educated. They have learnt this art from their mothers and grandmothers.

© Roheena Sajid

© Roheena Sajid

Shabana came from Multan, a small city in the province of Punjab, to attend the exhibition. It is also known as “the city of Saints”. As there are many shrines of saints and spiritual leaders in this city. And this city is also famous for its spiritual songs, and art work.

Shabana was selling hand-bags and fancy table-mats. She told me that she had a small work force, comprising of six female workers, who make these bags for her. She had done pearl work on the bags  which is very common in the culture of Multan.

Another lady I talked to was Rizwana. She displayed her collection of designer clothes. She told me that she displayed her collection in different countries and she got a tremendous response. Then she was encouraged to take this work more seriously and to make it a profession.

It was a great experience for me to see these phenomenal ladies under one roof, working and communicating with each other.

Most of the art work was done by the women who are thought to be a burden for the economy, because it is a common belief that they do not work. But the fact is, like many other women in the world, these women also are invisible workers. They involve and develop themselves in their art work – apart from doing domestic chores and taking care of children and family. This work not only brings them some money to support their families but it also promotes the cultural heritage of their respective regions.

© Roheena Sajid

© Roheena Sajid

It is always great to see such hopeful and positive women. Most of the women featured at the exhibition had come from very remote areas of the country, where there are no facilities for them to pursue their interests or passions.

Such events play a very important role in encouraging women entrepreneurs. At such forums women get inspiration from each other and also they get to know the issues and concerns of women living in other areas. Such gatherings also promote a sense of solidarity among women and encourage women to follow heir dreams.

Although women are doing great in their own capacities, it is not enough. Women should develop more communities on national and international levels where they could talk about their interests and issues, and where they could help each other.

Author: Roheena Sajid

Editor: Marjory Linardy



Salma’s Story: Little Girls with Dreams Become Women with Vision

A few months back Salma’s father had a paralysis attack so he was not able to make a living for the family. But Salma started selling snacks at the bus stop to support her family. Since then she has been working from dawn to dusk, and she takes her book with her to the bus stop. She sells snacks to the passengers and passersby during the day. When there are no customers around, she studies her books. (From May 22, 2015)

Empowerment, Not Violence Against Women

When we hear the phrase “women’s issues,” numerous issues and problems come to our minds and most of the problems have been prevalent for centuries. In spite of the plans and policies at national and international levels, no substantial work has been done for the elimination of these issues from women’s lives. Only superficial efforts have been made, which hardly influence the living standards of women at grass root level. (From January 8, 2015)

Violence against women in Pakistan often met with ‘state inaction’

Eight years into Pakistan’s democratic transition, violence against women is still endemic, a new ICG report found. The group’s Samina Ahmed talks about why biased attitudes towards women lie at the heart of the
problem. (From April 9, 2015)


19.06.2015 | 17:35