With Pakistan being a male dominated society, the concept of women entrepreneurs is a rather alien concept to some. But slowly and steadily the thinking of the society is evolving and it is given rise to women empowerment. Female entrepreneurship is thought have a very important rule in enabling women empowerment and emancipation.
The economic situation is Pakistan is rather questionable, so right now there is a dire need to empower women economically and to provide them with greater employment opportunities and sources of income to help them to prosper and provide support to their families.
To assist them in becoming entrepreneurs they require immense support. They need training, access to credit funds, product design, developments, and strategic business development.
Women in Pakistan are slowly coming out of their comfort zones and striving for something greater. They are working their way up from low productivity sectors and taking the charge of their lives. Women are making robust efforts by putting their talents to the test and pushing themselves towards success.
Women do tend to incur more difficulties than their male counterparts but some of them are up to the challenge. Hospital management, social enterprising, gaming industry, Digital media services, marketing and communication, textile and apparel are just some of the industries that the Pakistani women of caliber have explored.
“Aerodynamically the bumblebee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumblebee doesn’t know that so it goes on flying anyway.”
Mary Kate (Founder of Mary Kate cosmetics).
One of the most famous Pakistani female entrepreneurs is Jehan Ara. She is the president and the ideologist behind Pasha (Pakistan Software Houses Association). The company is a provider of software services and products and focuses on IT. She is a motivational speaker, an entrepreneur and writer. She is quite well known in the business circle and has been rather popular for almost 30 years.
Studies and official statistics depict that the participation of Pakistani women in the labour force is a mere 24% in comparison to the 81% of men employed. The contribution of women in the service industry is about 11% and 75% in the agriculture sector which is twice as much as their male counterparts. Studies prove that that these gender gaps in the employment sector prevail due to vulnerable employment and the bizarre discrimination of gender in the labour force results in the loss of output and income.
Roshaneh Zafar is another name that comes to mind when we talk about dynamic women entrepreneurs. She is the founder of the Kashaf Foundation. The organization strives to better the economic condition of women in the rural areas, to educate them. She received her education from the prestigious Yale University and she quit her job at the World Bank to give rise to the Kashaf Foundation. She is one of the few inspirational women who are working to increase the standard of living of women in Pakistan.
“Next time, ask: what’s the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it’s personal. And the world won’t end … And the speaking will get easier and easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don’t miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you … And at last you’ll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking.” Audre Lorde.
As long as women continue to battle through the daily challenges, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel, hope.