We have come across multiple stories of how women are defying gender-biased roles by breaking through glass ceilings. One such inspiring story is of 4 Pakistani sisters Touba Ijaz, Ayman, Sidra and Hajra.
These amazing women have turned to furniture marking for a living. Despite it being a difficult task, from gathering the material to sawing, polishing and dealing with businesses and customers.
Not depending on any male, the sisters do everything themselves, from the purchasing of the raw material to the final sale. They first started taking an interest because of their father who was a carpenter himself.
Taking guidance from him, the sisters now have an established business. While talking to BBC, Ayman shared that they used to go to their grandfather’s workshop as children. Because of their early exposure to the craftwork and machinery, they are not scared of operating them.
Ayman had convinced her other sisters to take part in their father’s business about 2 years ago in order to take it forward. The sisters have no prior education or any other exposure towards this skill, they have learnt everything from their father and YouTube.
Raise Your Daughters as You’d Raise Your Sons
Ayman shared that their father always treated the sisters as if they are his sons since childhood, making them strong-willed and independent. She adds that he has never let them feel as if they are anything less than capable. When the sisters told their father that they want to follow in his footsteps, he gave them his permission and full support.
She joked that when we bring in a new machine, abu asks how will you run it and we jokingly tell him that we’ll manage. Girls are always told by their parents that they want to see them as doctors, nurses, teachers, or other female-oriented professions, but that is not the case for these 4 Pakistani sisters.
Touba, by profession, is an electrical engineer by profession, whereas Ayman is a software engineer. On the other hand, Hajra is an architect and works on the design and cutting of wood.
“Whenever an order is received, my work starts from there. I first create the entire file in the software, I make the cutting framework and measure the wood to cut it.” Shared Hajra, who believes that no matter what the job, if a person has talent, it does not matter in what field they’re in.
Sidra is the youngest amongst the Pakistani sisters, she is currently pursuing her Bachelors in Environmental Sciences. Not only is she balancing her studies but is also running a business with her sisters.
“In the beginning, we faced a lot of difficulties when we went to the market to buy wood.” When we used to go, the shopkeepers used to give us wood at a high price. They thought that these were girls, how would they know? Then we told them that this is our job and we have complete information about it.’ Touba shared.
It is difficult for any woman to work after marriage and if a girl has children, then building a career is generally impossible. According to Hajra, it mostly depends on the husband and in-laws how much they support the girl after marriage.
“We three sisters are married, we all have children, but we have not faced any difficulty in combining home and work, this is because of the support of our husbands. Sometimes we have to spend the whole day in the workshop. But, they understand the nature of the job.
All these sisters, including Sidra, are determined that in the future they will not only bring women into this field, but they also conducted workshops for children in schools to show more and more girls that this work is not just for boys. But girls can do it too.
View this post on Instagram
Kudos to them for showing the world that no matter what your gender is if you have passion and willpower, you can make it happen.
Stay tuned to WOW360.