Divorced, but not defeated – Meet first Pakistani woman who makes elevators (DP Exclusive)

08:20 PM | 1 May, 2021
Divorced, but not defeated – Meet first Pakistani woman who makes elevators (DP Exclusive)

In conservative societies like Pakistan, women are considered just machines to produce children and those who fail to produce children due to infertility or any other medical reason live in fear of getting divorced. 

Such women face stigmatisation and abuse for something that is beyond their control. Daily Pakistan interviewed one such woman who was divorced just four years after her marriage because she could not produce a child.

Shamsa Yousaf says she got married at the age of 20 and her husband divorced her just four years later, at the age of 24, because she could not have children. Her husband divorced her even after she allowed him to go for a second marriage.

“I couldn’t produce a child. It is beyond a woman’s control; only Allah controls these things. I allowed my husband to go for a second marriage and promised I won’t object, but he said he would divorce me and then go for the second marriage,” adds Shamsa, now 46.

To fail all her efforts to escape divorce, she continues, her husband accused her of having an extramarital affair.

Shamsa told DP anchor Yasir Shami that she had nowhere to go after her divorce so she returned to her brother and sister-in-law and they welcomed her. She then decided to work and live a life of her own despite all support from her brother.

So, she started working at a workshop 22 years ago that makes different things from steel. Now she is a specialist in making elevators and expert in elevator installation. 

“I chose to work at a steel workshop because steel is a symbol of strength. I have made myself strong like steel so I’m not afraid of dealing with men. Owners, CEOs and directors of several companies where I have installed elevators stand up in my honour and salute me due to my hard work.

"I am the only woman in Pakistan who deals in elevators. Allah is with me. So I don’t need anyone else,” she told Daily Pakistan when asked how she feels while dealing with men and why didn’t she adopt a child.

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