Women Empowerment through Freelancing: An Opportunity for Pakistani Women

Women face sexism and misogyny not just from men but women too. The situation of female employment in Pakistan is pathetic for similar reasons. A year ago, the Business Recorder reported that only 22% of Pakistani women were employed.
While unequal pay remains a concern, encouraging female financial independence is important. Unfortunately, they are bound to be treated as inferior employees. The increase in the number of women entrepreneurs is heartening. However, the majority of women don’t have access to the resources required to run a successful startup. This is why any skill maybe applied in freelancing. Initially, it may be difficult but once you’ve built a good reputation, you’ll have a solid client base.

Perks of freelancing

A regular 9 to 5 job presents many challenges to a common Pakistani woman. This is why many turn to freelancing instead of fulltime employment at an established company.

Cultural barriers

Daughters are usually considered a burden by parents in the subcontinent resulting in alarming rates of female feticide and female infanticide. Predictably, the female literacy rate of Pakistan comes as no shock to anyone. While people don’t want to “waste” money on a daughter’s education because she will be wed off, they also restrict her from employment. In the poorest families, daughters are often sold off to sexual slavery or even used to settle financial/ personal disputes.

This means that child marriage is rampant but so is child labor. NGOs are trying to teach underprivileged skills which are useful in different industries. Skilled workers are readily hired as freelancers if they offer quality services. Knowledge is power and health is a blessing. Separate or combined, both aid women and children in getting out of uninhabitable environments. Due to backward cultural thinking, educated women are also forbidden from seeking employment. They can easily make use of their degrees and personal skills by working from home as freelancers.

Child care issues

Most agree that being a mother is the toughest job in the world. In addition, it is a fulltime job regardless of whether you have a partner helping you out. Pakistan lacks proper childcare facilities.

In fact, nursing in public is looked down upon and most mothers end up nursing their babies in bathrooms. This is not only humiliating but harms the health of their babies. Mothers are forced to leave their children with relatives or at daycare centers. Neither is ideal as many will attest.

“Being a working mother means that you are always disappointing someone.”
-Meg Ryan

Freelancing is a good option for such ladies. However, working from home is full of distractions because your child constantly demands your attention. A good solution to this is coworking where you get a dedicated space to complete your tasks in the location of your choice.

Working hours & transport

While some families are progressive, most still dump all household duties on women. This means that mothers not only have to raise their children and pay attention to work but also handle chores alone. Even house help has to be monitored and instructed.

Freelancing is ideal for such women because they get to decide when they work. It is perfect for female students too. In fact, most freelancers in Pakistan are students. It is not uncommon for high school students to pursue content writing as freelancers. Companies have confessed that they prefer female freelancers due to their pleasing work ethic. Female freelancers don’t have to worry about working late and having transport problems.

If the government secures the rights of freelancers and pays more attention to women empowerment, the future would be promising.

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