Women Empowerment and Livelihood
Opportunities through Homebased
Shumaila Murtaza1, Farhan Ahmad2*, Saba Gul3, Ali Sher4, Hafsa Hayat4 and Seemab Gul5
1Training Coordinator, Food for Assets (FFA)-Cash Based Transfers (CBT) Project, District Kurram, KPK Pakistan
2Livelihood Officer, Food for Assets (FFA)-Cash Based Transfers (CBT) Project, District Kurram, KPK Pakistan
3Social Organizer, Food for Assets (FFA)-Cash Based Transfers (CBT) Project, District Kurram, KPK Pakistan
4Monitoring and Evaluation Officer, Food for Assets (FFA)-Cash Based Transfers (CBT) Project, District Kurram, KPK Pakistan
5Reporting and Implementation Manager, Food for Assets (FFA)-Cash Based Transfers (CBT) Project, District Kurram, KPK Pakistan
Submission: October 23, 2021; Published: November 08, 2021
*Corresponding author: Farhan Ahmad, Livelihood Officer, Food for Assets (FFA)-Cash Based Transfers (CBT) Project, District Kurram, KPK Pakistan
How to cite this article: Shumaila M, Farhan A, Saba G, Ali S, Hafsa H, et al. Women Empowerment and Livelihood Opportunities through Homebased
Handicraft Activities. Ann Soc Sci Manage Stud. 2021; 6(5): 555699. DOI: 10.19080/ASM.2021.06.555699
So as to improve their social and health position and encompass them in progressive accomplishments. Empowerment as delegation of supremacy to somebody has been a way to enrich individual and work life value of woman in current decades. Higher education and livelihood are effective mechanism to women empowerment, but culture roles and inspiration can’t be denied. Cultural heritage personified in traditional artistries is an essential measure of any state that reveals the culture and radiation of the region. The handicrafts sector shows a vigorous character on income and generations of employment and has also been familiar globally due to poverty lessening. In KP’s culture, it is habitual to clarify some craftworks to girls. It is common in educated and illiterate families, but illiterate families focus more on it. The joint crafts skilled to girls are embroidery, Mezari, sewing, quilts, applique, crochet, knitting etc. This paper recognizes how to empower women of Village Aka Khel (Upper Kurram) from poverty over creative industry of handicrafts. Numerous recommendations are established for how creative industry can contribute in empowerment of women. The limitation of this research is to conduct at innovative industry. Further qualitative research at other types of industries is necessary to explore application of such recommendations.
District Kurram is in the Kohat Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The term Kurram originates from the Kurama river that itself comes from the Sanskrit name Krumuḥ. Until 2018, it was an agency of FATA, with merger to KP, it became a district. Geographically, it covers the Kurram region which is a valley in north-western portion of Pakistan. Most of the population is Pashtoon and the central religion is Islam (Sunni and Shia). Main existing tribes in Kurram are Muqbil, Paracha, Para Chamkani, Bangash, Orakzai, Turi, Masoozai, Zazai, Mangal, Hazara, Khoshi and Ghilzai tribe. Kurram district, located nearby the Afghanistan boundary, is one of the familiar districts in the Ex-FATA. The 12th
century report of Kurram, as declared in the ‘’Rig vide book’’ exposes that a Hindu spiritual leader called Karma later on the name Kurram River initiated. After the river, the name therefore felt Kurram valley. The district lies between 33.20 to 34.03 North latitudes and 69.50 to 70.45 East longitudes. District Kurram is enclosed in the west and north by provinces of Afghan (Paktia and Ningarhar) respectively, in the East by district Orakzai and Khyber, in the Southeast by Hangu and in the South by North Waziristan. The district is 115 Km extended with an entire area of 3380 squares Kilometer.
Handicraft goods are those made by artisans either by hands,
or such types of hand tools. Handiwork is one of the chief exports
sections of certain countries like Indonessia and Bangladesh
Handicraft goods will more entirely support enriching productivity
that will ultimately raise ODP and desired economic growth,
which will be accomplished easily believing to warrant the women
financial empowerment . Handiworks are traditional by nature
and by means of their primitive implements, individuals create
these to practice in their day-to-day life. It should be recognized
that most of the time handiworks have an aesthetic outlook and
creative significance .
Kurram is associated underneath developed area despite
having treasures of resources, ladies are on in all of them
particularly the experienced ones. Women would contribute
to economic development rather taking part in a passive role,
their dependence on welfare program and philanthropic
gift are additionally bated. The study sought-after to
spot issues, weaknesses and opportunities that have an effect
on “Mezari” business and want to be worked on. Data were
collected through qualitative interview methodology from the
sample of seventy-four handicrafts girls in village Aka Khel
Kurram District. The business in Kurram is found to be at low ebb
and needs a heavy thought.
A meager quantity is earned by the ladies. Lack of awareness
and education is found to be the most hurdle behind their nonprofitable
Based on these facts, the empowerment of ladies is that
the need for District Kurram to enhance the economic standing
of society. Ladies aren’t a burden or obstacle within the
development, however it became on in every of the potential
and assets underneath construction, Additionally, reducing the
unemployment rate might increase the experience or ability of
iv. Awareness relating to livelihood through handicraft
v. To unearth women’s national level empowerment through
vi. To establish the association between women’s
economic empowerment and role of handicraft activities
The project “To support most food insecure population
of newly merged districts (NMDs) through cash based
mostly transfers in district Kurram of KPK” was command at
District Kurram to support the livelihood aspects of the peoples
of the Kurram by providing the assets which will generate long
run livelihood. The project was enforced by Foundation of Rural
Development (FRD), funded by World Food Program (WFP). To
ensure awareness concerning livelihood and women empowerments
trainings were conducted on various topics like Mezari work,
Fuel efficient stove, quilt making and mushroom cultivation.
Women were trained accordingly to executed such activities for
their authorization. Females were engaged in several activities
like Mezari work and Fuel efficient stove in order that they will
guarantee learning by doing development (Figures 1-3).
Constant training and learning for the entire organization
is a critical component of empowerment. This begins with reeducation
of senior management and spreads throughout the
organization. In some ways, this resembles a learning organization
that is constantly striving to identify and learn new skills in order
to improve processes .
As a result of social and cultural norms and practices, women
and girls face barriers to humanitarian assistance and services.
Girls’ education continues to be a challenge, especially in areas
bordering Afghanistan (the newly merged regions of Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa - KP) and Baluchistan. There is a strong link
between girls’ educational attainment and malnutrition in general
(stunting, wasting, and underweight). In the United States, 7.3
million primary school-age children are not enrolled, with girls
accounting for 57% of the total.
FRD is also collaborating with the World Food Program (WFP)
to build district capacity to develop multi-sectorial policies and
strategies that are fully aligned with the Scaling-Up Nutrition
(SUN) approach, to collaborate on food security research
initiatives, to participate in cash-based welfare programs, and
to provide expertise on livelihood programs (Figure 4). The
village chief, deputy chief, village secretary, village Women’s
Union representative, village elders, and youth members
comprise the Village Development Committee (VDC). Through their membership in the Village Development Committee (VDC), they oversaw the identification and selection of beneficiaries
under the FFA CBT schemes intended for rural development,
and they ensured the proper implementation of the village’s FFA
CBT programs. The selection criteria for participation in FFA
activities also aided in the inclusion of vulnerable households
and women. Significant efforts have been made to design gendersensitive
interventions and to allocate sufficient resources. Mezari
training was designed specifically for women and female-headed
households. The majority of females in the training session were
pleased with the process used to identify them as well as the
activities that benefited them. The World Food Program (WFP) and
the Foundation for Rural Development (FRD) have started capacity
building trainings in Kurram to empower unskilled village women
to make “Mezari” crafts. The women were first introduced to skill
training, then to capacity building training. So far, the trainer has
trained three groups of 74 participants (Figure 5).
The venture has played a significant role in empowering
women who are now self-assured and want to be financially
independent. Women were given the opportunity to hone their
craft, learn new skills, and learn how to market themselves. The
primary goal is to empower the most vulnerable women, such as
widows, poor women, and women who rely entirely on others. The
majority of these women are extremely talented, but they have no
idea how to make their designs more artistic and contemporary, or
how to market their products.
Leaders at all levels of management structure play exemplary
roles in the implementation of change processes, where other
members of a team/department or organization are encouraged
to observe and emulate these leaders’ attitudes and behavior .
i. Nasima Bibi is a hardworking Aka Khel handicraft
entrepreneur. A mother of six daughters, her husband is a daily
gambler, and she suffers from serious health problems. Nasima
Bibi is a courageous woman who continues to fight poverty and
raise the living standards of rural poor women by providing them
with opportunities to earn a decent living. “I want to provide more
income for my family while also educating and empowering my
daughters. My three daughters are in school, and I manage my
kitchen with ease.” Fatima lives in Aka Khel village. Her husband
is a heart patient, and she has three daughters and two sons. Her
family is supported by her handicraft skills. From Mezari, she
creates baskets, hand fans, trays, grain bins, and hotpots. She used
to sell Mezari products and serve the family by providing food,
education and husband expenses in the hospital (Figure 6).
ii. Watan bibi daughter of Nabaat khan, age 40 years
lives in village Narari, District kurram of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
She has three sisters and are married. During interview she said
that “ It was a black day in my life when I hear d that my father
is no more and all the responsibilities were on my shoulders, I
don’t have a brother and staying alone in this patriarchal society
is a big challenge’’ After the death of her father now she is living
alone. Father of watan bibi used to make mazri rope and trained
her daughter too. After the death of her father she continued the
trend to earn livelihood. The villagers also helped her with the
I had very difficult time, I used to sell mazri rope of RS. 2000
per month which was not enough to meet the needs of the family.
WFP aided me with RS. 15000. From this amount I brought my
very first clothes, stuff for home and paid back the RS. 4000 in loan
to the shopkeeper. I have a very serious toothach issue and with
the next installment I am planning to solve this problem. The FRD
team registered her in the skilled training program funded by WFP
with the help of FRD during village assessment. She was guided and motivated further by the field team on mazri products and video tutorials. She quickly learned the skills and made a veriety
of mazri products (Figures 7a & 7b).
Women’s great powers of creativity, resilience, and
extraordinary tales have created stories that exemplify the ultimate
force of womanhood while bringing beauty to their special life.
Females are working tirelessly to structure their thoughts and
superpowers as they struggle to make ends meet and fiercely
create history in their own culture. Several approaches taken by
tenacious female entrepreneurs have created strong waves in the
business community thus laying a solid base of limitless creativity.
We’ve compiled a list of exceptional female entrepreneurs who
have gone on to become prominent figures who can serve as role
models for any aspiring entrepreneur.
iii. Lasmeen Bibi, 28 years old from Village Shegai in the
Central Tehsil of Kurram
She stood behind her family through thick and thin. She
believes that you can conquer anything you want with the right
mindset and goals. Her Husband is mentally disturb, because of
that he used to stay at home mostly rather than to go for work.
According to her, since her husband disturbed mentally she
focused more on family. She is supporting her two daughters and
husband by selling the eggs in nearer homes.
The FRD female field staff during the assessment activity under
the FFA-CBT project, identified and proposed the Lasmeen Bibi for
Mazari work in order to give some relief from our organization
side. The females included in the VDC were much happier and
agreed on the selection of Lasmeen Bibi for Mazari work as they
know well about the current situations of her family. FRD female
staff registered Lasmeen Bibi for Mazari work to be completed in
3 cycles for which she will be paid of 22,500 PKR (7,500 PKR per
She bought a goat soon after receiving a cash of 22,500 to
support her family more in respect to sell milk. She added that I
am much happy with the FRD female staff for encouraging me to
do more. The Cash provided was utilized much effectively in term
to support my family. I will use to make such items from mazari
to sell it in market. The mazari product are much costly and will
benefit me in getting income to support my two daughters and
husband “Lasmeen Bibi declared and thanks FRD female field
Team” (Figures 8a, b & c).
Women are not a burden or an impediment to development;
rather, they have become one of the potential and assets under
construction. One way to increase women’s empowerment
is to create small and medium-sized businesses to absorb
the labor of unemployed women. In addition to lowering the
unemployment rate, these women’s expertise or skill could be
enhanced . Creative industries are one of the activities that,
in addition to increasing women’s empowerment, can improve
society’s economic system . Education and capacity building
are critical components of the empowerment process. Women
who are educated and exercise play an important role in family
decision making. Formal education is essential for developing the
skills and abilities that an individual requires to feel competent.
. Educated women are more likely to have control over their
earning. Education, employment and earning increase women
financial independence therefore they are regarded as powerful
means of empowerment.
Handicraft is one of Bangladesh’s most important exports.
Handicrafts products will be more exclusively useful for increasing
productivity, which will ultimately raise GDP and ensure that
the desired economic growth is easily attained while ensuring
women’s economic empowerment. Handicrafts are, by definition,
traditional. People make these to use in their daily lives by using
their primitive instruments, their hands. It should be noted that
most handicrafts have an aesthetic and artistic value  (Figure
The United Nations designated 2001 as Women’s
Empowerment Year. In the same year, the National Policy for
Women’s Empowerment was developed, which recognized the
causes of gender inequality as being related to social and economic
structure. Since 2008, the NGO has taken initiatives to empower
women who work in various crafts, particularly potters and
bamboo workers, by replacing these craft works with Terracotta
and Bamboo works in response to market demand  (Figure 10).
According to Jahan & Mahmud , women’s empowerment is the
most pressing and visible issue in the world today. It is not only
important for women’s development, but it is also a necessary first
step toward addressing the world’s larger problems. The goal of
women’s empowerment is to increase women’s ability to control
their own lives, positions, and environments to a greater extent
[11-13] (Figure 11).
Handicrafts and small business are two ways Kurram District
residents can boost their economies. There are many women in
Kurram who do not have a job but are terrified of the local economy.
Women’s empowerment in small and medium-sized businesses is
an appropriate solution for improving Kurram’s women’s skills
and abilities, and the work can also improve their lives.