office working women pakistan

Ode to the Office Working women in Pakistan

This is my tribute to office working women in Pakistan. The kind of problems they face, the daily struggle against the system that is stacked in opposition. The internal dialogue, their survival in a country where there are turned away from hostels even.  

Prophet Muhammad advised “… the best of you are those that are best to women”

There are lots of office working women in Pakistan in the banking, teaching, healthcare, sales, media and services sectors. Although women’s education spending as a proportion to the population is dismally low.

So where do I start on my essay?

How do I commend the committed Pakistani woman who juggles three roles all at once, with no margin of error? 

How do I appreciate the woman who has the courage to break out of the vulnerable woman stereotype? What do I say about the self-doubt and introspection the Pakistani woman goes through when she leaves home and commutes to work; not to talk of the soul-crushing harassment during the commute and in the workplace. 

I totally understand why Pakistani women behave oddly in an office environment because they don’t want to be labeled. Not to mention the minefield of social stigmas this woman has to avoid just to complete one day of work. 

Where do these beautiful strong souls muster the courage to stay focused and prove themselves as professionals when every person around them including the men in their families think it isn’t meant to last.

The working mother gets up early, starts up the household, sends kids to school, serves the husband and mother-in-law, and then leaves for work.

She trudges through a sea of ogling men and unruly traffic to reach an unrewarding workplace, that doesn’t respect her commitment.

Did I mention perfectly secure women have to wear loose over-garment called the burqa so that they are not harassed on the commute to work? The burqa has to be black because that’s supposed to make the lady more religiously acceptable, to hell with the fact that black attracts more heat in the burning summer Sun. This is the only wardrobe acceptable to the misogynists on the roads in Pakistan, which miraculously stops them from molesting these ladies.

Then there is the dipsh*t boss who uses her as a marketing object instead of actual professional work. Then she bears the insults of overbearing, chauvinistic pigs, in the shape of customers or superiors, who think it’s their God-given right to belittle the women outside their home.

Then the added humiliation of being given unimportant tasks and low pays, because the boss man thinks ‘oye yeh kahan rahay ge’, she isn’t going to work for long.

I can’t imagine how these angels ask for their basic rights in an environment that expects them to be demure and acquiesce to male domination.

The battered and bruised lady returns home to see a sullen husband asking her to become Sunny Leone, ungrateful kids asking for their new mobile phones and the never-happy mother in law. 

Don’t even get me started on the working women with children. The guilt, shame, and gratefulness of kids and other family members for the life they dedicate to them.

Don’t you dare start with the counter argument that working women knew what they were getting into. No, it’s not like that. These women have to work as they need to live a decent life too, for themselves, for the society and their children. Times are changing and one man cannot feed a household of 7 people on the average in Pakistan. 

If our elitist women’s liberation groups and women emancipation groups want to do something significant for the good of the real women office working women of Pakistan, not the ones that deliberately try to p*ss-off men, they should engage moulvis and clerics and have them tell their congregation to let working women move about in peace, wear white hijab and to stop thinking of them as ‘available’. This would be a good place to start. 

The part about working conditions, housing, and children will come after that.

All this was the good part; the woman who is strong, married, confident, and not completely dependent on the income from her job.

What to say about the lady that needs to feed her family from the pittance the slave driver boss throws towards her. I am now talking about office girls, receptionists, file clerks, and sales girls. I shudder to think the kind of exploitation taking place with these hard-working girls in the absence of labor law enforcement, considering their skills are ‘replaceable’.

Women in office jobs would at least have the consolation of having pensionable jobs, the one’s they can’t be fired from. Career progression is luxury in the government sector because no one grades employees on productivity and professionalism anyways.

On the other hand, I also see your steadfastness, perseverance, and faith you show against overwhelming odds in Pakistan. I, for one, am a believer in your God gifted strength of character.

I believe God created the woman to bring joy to mother earth. I see the sacrifice, unconditional love, and loyalty that only a woman can give to her family, spouse, siblings, and work and I praise God for his masterpiece.

A big shout out to my home-girls! You Pakistani working wonder-women, I hear you! I see how disappointed, hurt, angered, tired your get from the indifference of the people who surround you.

So, all you Pakistani men like me who make fun of women in our closed gatherings cut them some slack. If you have a working woman in your family, make her smile with a kind word and some gratitude. That’s all she wants!


For more interesting posts, do click this link, Pakistan news.

Similar Posts


  1. Thoroughly enjoyed reading the article.Bravo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *