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Mother, daughters successfully running business in Bara area

PESHAWAR: A business outlet exclusively selling women’s items in the middle of a male-dominated market on the Bara Road is drawing a large number of customers.
“Most of our women customers come from the tribal area as they are not allowed to shop at the outlets run by men,” said the owner, Nargis – a mother of five. Nargis and her three daughters had opened the ready-made garment and cosmetics shop with an initial investment of Rs300,000 almost two years ago. Now, they also sell items like cloth, shoes and sandals, garments for children, wedding dresses, bangles and cosmetics.

Though it is difficult to run a business but in a society like ours, venturing into the exclusively female items is a profitable opportunity even for those who are not educated, said 20-year-old Fauzia, who helps her mother in running the business. “Initially, we had to face resistance from our male family members as they thought that going into a business was not our cup of tea. “We thank our stars that now we don’t have to ask our father even for the school and university fees as it is now funded from the income we get from the shop,” beamed Fauzia who is doing her Masters in Islamiat from the Frontier Women’s University.

“The mental set-up of our society is such that even women shoppers quiz about our business while some even go as far as asking who looks after the domestic chores,” she complained. Ghulam Rasool, husband of Nargis, while joining in said that I had confidence in my wife and daughters’ ability, of which successful running of this shop is a proof. As this shop is exclusively for ladies, therefore, they feel comfortable in feeding their babies, happily bargain the prices and also have the facility to use washroom, he said adding that boys above 10 years of age are not allowed inside.

“People belonging to all sections of the society are thankful to us as now they don’t have to bother much about the shopping of their female relatives,” he said, remarking further that this has given a flip to the conservative practice of the NWFP men. He said that there were always vacancies available for girls as majority of the sales girls get married.
Rasheeda, a customer from Bara Gate, who had to come to buy bangles, said that she prefered the shop as “our family doesn’t allow us to shop at a place where there are many men’’.

Source: Dawn

Date:1/7/2007

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