Youth Matters

When women work against the odds

 “As a woman, having a dream is a sin. So I started killing my own dreams—till it became too necessary for me to fight for them,” Rukhsar recalls.

Rukhsar, a young woman living in Lyari, says she always knew she wanted to be a beautician. “I had always known what I wanted to be when I grow up.”

But growing up in a relatively underprivileged and conservative family meant she had to fight for her most basic right. In her family, the concept of women working outside their homes was unheard of. 

Rukhsar, who was not even allowed to visit her friends’ homes, put her foot down and started her journey to fulfill her dreams. Making the best of what she had, Rukhsar started her own salon business from within the four walls of her home. That was the condition put forward by her family. 

“I had very few cosmetics when I started but now I have almost everything.” Rukhsar is earning well enough to support her family now and is also a reputable name among the women of Lyari.

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“At 16, I first visited a university. I realised it was like a fantasy that my life was very far from. So I turned each day as a step forward towards achieving that goal.”

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No girl in Fatima’s family had acquired a higher education. So when she floated the idea with her family, they simply shut her down.

But she had already made up her mind as to how her future looked like—and that didn’t include being confined to the four walls of a house. Fatima had to earn herself to support her education and went on to complete her master's degree. She works as a lecturer now. 

“I have learnt so much ever since I stepped out of the house,” she says, smiling.

“It really changes your perception about caste, class, religion and cultures. I learnt how to look at people as human beings first.”

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