Women Entrepreneurship: Rise of a Dream Or Fall of Oppression? by Amna Sheikh

Source: Thrive Global

In the past ten years, the way entrepreneurship culture for women has grown and thrived in Pakistan is incredible, yet alarming. Women have participated more actively in the economic sector contributing from homes. As a result, incubation programs have been designed by multiple institutes across the country to cater to the naïve businesses and facilitate their growth. However, when I look closely at the spirit of women residing in homes to set foot into the professional world, I wonder whether this need comes from a certain dream they had always yearned to fulfill or to get financially independent as an escape from the toxic relationships at home.

Given the patriarchal society we live in, women and their dreams related to career are often suppressed. Both men and women attain 14 years of education, equally spending mental, emotional, and physical labor to work on their future goals. However, when it comes to jobs, women are asked to get married and stay at home as men are enough to provide. It is an irony that the biggest restriction they face is within the houses, from their loved ones with whom they shared their ambitions throughout their lives. Owing to my own interactions with women entrepreneurs in different events, I have seen that entrepreneurship is not always women’s choice, but also an alternative option to meet their goals as going out for job is not allowed by the men in their households.

Having run two small scale startups for a short period of time, I came across challenges posed by our culture on amateur women entrepreneurs, who are at the get-go of beginning their careers. The first startup was my own dream 4 years ago to get financially independent and grow professionally in gifting industry. I started the venture named Posh Prezents</