Women Are Not a Burden for the Economy
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.
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.
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
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Date19.06.2015 | 17:35
Tagsart work, Education, gender equality, house wife, islamabad, Pakistan, Roheena Sajid, women's empowerment, women's rights, workin women