Fighting Stereotypes Together
Manju (28) and Binita (36), once home makers, have turned into fabulous dress makers over a year. After completing the basic and advance sewing course in six months’ time, they started a tailoring shop together.
They were neighbors who came together to start a tailoring shop near the highway and not in the village. In the community where women are not seen taking up business often, it was not easy to begin.
Despite disagreements and doubts, they started the shop. “That was the first time I did something without the family’s approval. I wouldn’t have been able to do this alone. I could take the risk because I had a partner,” says Binita.
Working together, they complement each other. “She does not talk much like I do. She is more skillful than I am.”, says Manju. Manju takes Binita’s help on new designs or with difficult customers. Binita on the other hand relies on Manju for purchasing fabrics.
The tailoring shop is also a place of respite – they chat and laugh while working. “We talk about family and discuss the future of our children. Manju makes me laugh with her jokes and incites me to try new things”, says Binita.
Now that the shop is paying off, their families are also supportive. Both Manju and Binita, who could not finish school want their children to do well in school. Their drive to succeed is also inspired by their desire to provide well for their children and give them opportunities that they didn’t have.
With a monthly profit of Rs. 8,000 ($77.5), they manage to save some and invest in their shop’s growth.
Independent women like Manju and Binita can support the growth and education of their children. Empowering women also means better investment on children as mothers will be able to make decisions for the development of their children.