“What I find fascinating is that the idea that women are dependent on men, was not imposed by men 10 to 20 thousand years ago, but by women themselves. However, the mentality was created because of our nurturing instinct – we wanted to stay at home and build our family, we wanted to care for our children and husbands’ needs. Back then, that worked just fine, but as the world progresses, women now realized that they too, can take charge and lead. They are okay on their own, with or without a man. A woman can now lead a company, be respected and feel empowered.”
Nor Zahara Muhamad Jamal shines with a spectrum of confidence and from across the room, you can tell that this woman has been through a lot and had made unimaginable sacrifices to become who she is today. She started out as a school teacher and had never envisioned herself to be an entrepreneur. With limited knowledge of business, she embarked on this journey with nothing but perseverance and faith in The Almighty. “My intention was to help my family lead better lives. I think that intention helped me all along the journey,” Zara says.
Zara is an epitome, a symbol that shows once a woman believes in herself, she is unstoppable. Zara believes that regardless of age and social background; whether you’re a teacher, a nurse, a student or a cleaner, you have the right to be successful. But it all boils down to your determination and willingness to make sacrifices, along with having the right and effective marketing skills.
This third child out of six siblings emerged from a small town in Sabak Bernam and is never reluctant to share her knowledge and experience with others “I believe in the power of giving back,” she says. She started her experience and journey as an entrepreneur with the help of others and she feels that it is only fair that she returns the favour to those who are in need. When asked about her biggest challenge in becoming a female entrepreneur, Zara said it would be her body image.
For the longest time, Zara struggled with her body image issues, often finding herself to be a victim of “body-shaming”, until she realised that beauty comes from within. “Your appearance does not define you, but your work ethics do. The passion you put into your work will show and that matters more than your body size. So what if I’m oversized? That does not mean I cannot be successful. There is no caveat that says you cannot be successful unless you wear ‘S’ size. I think women should not concern themselves with the labels society imposes on them.”
Zara hopes that more women will see their true potential and act on it. She wants women to take charge of their lives, make their own decisions, become leaders, become successful entrepreneurs and become one of the highest contributors in the world’s economy. “I think it can be done. Women can monopolize the world’s economy. We just have to be fierce,” Zara hopes. Zara’s aspiration resonates closely to Michelle Obama’s view on women empowerment and the economy, where Michelle Obama said: “No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizen.”
She intends to continue assisting and guiding female entrepreneurs in building their marketing skills and improving their products. For as long as she can, Zara wants to contribute to society in every possible way she could. She believes that when a person decides to take charge of her life, it is her duty to assist the person as best as she could.