Mizoram Women | Hands that rock cradles rule the world | Milaap stories
This article has been written by our fellow, Akanksha, who is working closely with our field partner, WSDS in Aizawl, Mizoram. Here's some interesting trivia about one of the seven sister states from far east India - Mizoram. Mizoram has the the second highest literacy rate of 91.6% and a sex ratio of 975 women per thousand men. Women here are the backbone of the society and they are much more active than men. Be it at the grocery stores, markets or even the church, Mizoram women outnumber men everywhere. From running vegetable markets to garment stores, drug stores and restaurants to even some of the big schools, women power is everywhere. The only place I see men work are at hardware & automobile shops and in the transport businesses. (This is just a generalization and my personal observation).[caption id="attachment_1552" align="aligncenter" width="648"] Mizoram women are jack of all trades.[/caption]While in some parts of the nation, women are subjected to dowry harassment, torture and even infanticide, it is astounding to see how in this part of the country, Mizoram women are fiercely independent. Here, women 's dreams soar high. Most girls who reside in my hostel are either in school or college, want to become doctors, nurses, teachers, get a job in other cities across India or even plan to take up jobs outside the country. Some even want to become entrepreneurs. Marriage for these Mizoram women in not on the cards till they know for sure that they have chosen the right partner.A sixty-year-old lady, who is one of the borrowers of Milaap loans, told me that in Mizoram, women can never run out of work. There's plenty for everyone - household chores, tailoring, knitting, rearing chickens or pigs, handcrafts, selling beauty products, old clothes etc.Another young girl I met was selling plastic lunchboxes and bottles by the street. She had studied till her 12th and is currently pursuing tailoring and computer classes.Over the weekends, when she if relatively free, she sells her wares. She came from a poverty stricken family and her parents could not afford her education. Her enterprising spirit startled me. Once she completes her tailoring course, I am looking forward to get a traditional Mizo outfit stitched for myself. I will be proud to be her first client :-)I had a conversation with the municipal councilor of Aizawl and her story as well is very inspiring. With an education in media, she progressed into politics and made quite a mark for herself. She excitedly narrated stories of how Mizoram women partake in all welfare activities of the state, but her only regret is the fact that Mizoram is still to see a woman chief minister. She herself had contested for the post, but lost by a very narrow margin. All my good wishes to her for a successful career in politics.Another friend of mine at the hostel, an economics student, told me that Mizoram is a very economically strong state since most businesses are managed by Mizos and nothing is outsourced. Most goods produced in other parts of the country are sold at double or triple the manufacturing cost. There are heavy imports from Myanmar, where goods are bought at cheaper price. Many big brands (especially beauty products) which have a strong market base in Aizawl, do not have exclusive showrooms, they sell through the extensive network of Mizoram women who do door to door sales. All this “gyaan” has tempted me to invest money and buy goods from Myanmar and sell here in Aizawl. I definitely recommend all women who want to start their enterprise with good hardworking people, to visit Mizoram once.Do you want to be the wind behind their dreams? Here's how you can make the impact.