Empowering Women

Written by Bushra Khalid  •  Special Features  •  March 2011 PDF Print E-mail

Empowering women means empowering the nation. The economic empowerment of women is considered as one of the basic sources of progress for a country; therefore the subject is of paramount importance to social scientists, political thinkers and reformers. Women entrepreneurs can ultimately be an authoritative resource for the development and the economic growth in any society. Empowerment of women is observed as a significant issue in the recent times.

People of Afghanistan suffered a lot of damage as a result of war. The condition of health, shelter as well as education needed serious attention, particularly for afghan women. In order to ensure the development and growth of country and to recover social and economic conditions, there was the requirement of urgent aid and consideration of international community.

The economy of Afghanistan faced an adverse situation. There was the need of strong and active actions in favor of the development of the economy of the country. Various steps were being taken to overcome this issue. One of these steps was the motivation of the economic independence of Afghani women. In the past eight years, women in Afghanistan have ventured into entrepreneurship. They became the basic initiatives in the fields that ranged from tailoring to trucking. They became eager towards business and helped in reshaping their roles with their relatives. In fact they supported their families and allowed their children to receive education.

Many women are playing their individual role through entrepreneurship in Afghanistan. One woman among them is Soora Stoda, who was keen in building a potato chip factory. Similarly, a woman Shahla Akbari was found to be engaged in the business of making shoes and her mother Fatima Akbari initiated the expansion of her women’s businesses as well as literacy classes in Taliban-controlled areas. According to her, working closely with mullahs and elders might gain their support and protection. “When you go and win their hearts, you can do anything,” Fatima Akbari is of the opinion.

This is not all; some businesswomen have the industrialized capacity and quality control experience which is required to run a business with diverse challenges.

Such bold and essential activities performed by the Afghani women highlight the significance of their presence in a region. Their involvement in business and support to their families is a strong sign of their role in building the Afghan economy.

According to various researches conducted in Afghanistan, around 10,000 of the female entrepreneurs were being trained in the initial stage. By emerging from the isolation of war and the oppression of the Taliban, these women contributed towards a more prosperous country and better independence for women.
It’s a fact that the economic empowerment of women can play a major role in the development of their families and their country.

Initiated in Tamil Nadu, India by The Self Help Groups (SHGs) in early 1998, women entrepreneurship has traveled a long way. The success of SHGs led towards the creation of Mahalir Thittam (Plan for Women) which was launched in 1997. Besides that in 1992, a pilot project was conducted by NABARD (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development). It was an effective and a successful partnership model between, SHGs, NGOs and BANKS.

According to a research, the particular nature of women employment has a direct impact on the social protection of women. The area of activity in which the women are engaged, the structures of their jobs and the conditions of their employment, place women in situations which promote gender rights in a society.

As far as the long-term benefits of the financial independence of a country is concerned, women should be well-educated and more self reliant. As a result, besides men, women would be an essential source for the development of the economy of the country.

Women’s employment should constantly be supported by the government, private sectors and organizations of civil society. This motivation and support would ultimately be beneficial for the economic status of the country. 

Bushra Khalid volunteers for various human rights forums and writes on gender-related issues.

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Comments (1)add comment
written by Rameez , March 16, 2011

Nice piece of writing and that is very true! In my opinion, women at work places or as a business woman, works more efficiently and honestly than their male counterparts. And yes, there contribution is vital for the economic development of any country.

Male and female both are a part of society and they both should work for the overall betterment of the society. To me, empowering women is more critical than empowering men since woman is where the foundations of a home and society starts.

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