She is a daughter, a mother, a sister, and a wife. She multi-tasks by being our guide, housekeeper, caretaker and go-to person. She adapts to numerous roles in a day and she does it with utter perfection. She has the strength to cater every challenge that comes in her way. Be it handling the house chores to becoming the prime minister of Pakistan, dragging the cart wheel for grocery shopping or learning to fly an airplane. She has never failed to prove herself in each field. She gives selflessly. She tries to accomplish everything by completely dedicating her mind and heart to it. She is an epitome of dedication, devotion and love. She is not weak; in fact she is the most courageous living thing. She is not someone to be dictated by but deserves to be heard. She shouldn’t be caged within the four boundaries of her house instead she should be told that fly high because sky is the limit. She shouldn’t be told what she can and cannot do. She is not someone one should have a pity on. She shouldn’t be looked as a person who cannot function in the society without the support of the ‘stronger’ sex. She shouldn’t be hidden, she should be celebrated. Every single day.
In Pakistan, where women are still considered fragile, buried alive, married to a holy book, seen as a sex machine and objectified as an inferior, binds them to accomplish everything the hard way. They say that 100 miles of journey begins with a single step. I am glad that we have already been able to take the first steps in breaking the stereotypes about women. The road may seem unending but it is not impossible to achieve. The diversity that Pakistan carries is astonishing in its own way where on one hand women like Naseem Hameed have earned the title of the fastest woman in South Asia in Athletics and brought a gold medal home as well for that, they are conquering their dreams by literally climbing mountains like Samina Baig did, riding a rickshaw for employment purposes, becoming doctors, engineers, army officers, photographers, politicians etc however on the other hand there are still some who are not even allowed to step outside their homes and are given the freedom to even think and do something for their own selves. This trend is as much so that most of the women in Pakistan, do not really know that they even have any rights. They live a life like they are told to. They are seen as submissive and subordinates of the stronger sex and they pass it on the same set of obligations to their daughters.
We are all born free but how free our women can consider themselves when what they could wear, who they could meet, when and who they would marry and what they could talk about is directed to them by someone else. Quaid-e-Azam mentioned in his speech in 1944 that “No nation could rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side by you…” Women not only contribute in the social development of a country but contribute towards the economic development as well. In Pakistan the Female Labor Force Participation (FLFP) rate has significantly increased over the years but since not a lot is done in research sector the figures are still very low and doesn’t cover the whole population.
Althoug women are underrepresented where gender inequality still prevails here but still I would say that it’s not all gloomy. With every rain, comes the rainbow so there is still a ray of sunshine which allows them to think what they are made of and what they can achieve. It encourages them to believe in their dreams and have faith in their capabilities. One of such ray of hope is brought by ‘Seed out’ which is a living example of how the lives of women are changing everyday and how they are given a new window to breathe free and flaunt their skills of letting them be what they want to be without hindrances.
I would like to mention Najma’s story who despite of having very few resources and a large family, strived to do business in clothing. She and her brother were in partnership when they had to end the business in the middle since her brother had to leave for abroad. This did not stop Najma from attaining her dreams and Seed out made sure to not let her stop by providing her with sufficient funds. Now she works hard and couldn’t thank Seed out enough for such a help because her children could now be enrolled in school and get education.
Similarly, Alia Khan’s dreams were fulfilled when she showed a desire to expand her sewing center in order to be a financial helping hand for her husband and a better future of her children and Seed Out once again became the knight in shining armor for her and helped her achieve what she desired.
Seed out also painted Soni’s life with multi colors similar to what her glass painting business is about. She had the skill but lacked resources and Seed out helped her to get what money could buy and rest her hard work is building a brighter future for her two children and she pays all her expenses independently now.
Hannia Masood Awan.