Social media is a powerful tool for women from all religious backgrounds, including the Dawoodi Bohras. They use it to start or expand businesses and create entrepreneurial networks. These platforms are a great way for women to get financial support. They have a wide audience and a collaborative approach.
Research has shown that religious beliefs can affect women’s ability to start, run, and sustain businesses. Religious attitudes toward entrepreneurship can affect women’s support from their families or communities, whether it is financial or emotional.
Religious requirements can be the foundation for an entrepreneur. Women-led businesses can benefit from the norms and customs surrounding modesty and spiritual dress codes.
Gender-segregation laws make it difficult for women to start businesses or create networks. They also discourage them from working outside of the home.
Social media helped women to navigate through these issues. They could conduct their business in the privacy of their own homes. They offer women greater opportunities to connect professionally and personally.
These platforms are interactive, blurring social and geographic boundaries. They create virtual communities. Women can build collaborative networks and engage in dialogue through media.
Women in religious communities are finding new opportunities to start businesses through social media. (Shutterstock)
They can also overcome real-life obstacles and difficulties. These virtual spaces can compensate for the lack of visibility and agency that many women experience in professional settings.
Online platforms allow women to balance domestic and family duties while also enabling them become financially independent. Traders create all-female platforms to avoid men’s involvement and control. This also helps women navigate gender segregation rules.
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Many Orthodox Jewish women have used social media to build businesses and connections within their own communities while keeping in line with expectations around modesty. Women like Sarah Haskell, who goes by the handle @thatrelatablejew , create content that educates people about Judaism and also combats negative stereotypes about Orthodox Jewish women.
Muslim women around the world have also used the potential marketing of social media in order to create a modest industry through the reclaiming the hijab. Many people reappropriate negative phrases or symbols that are associated with Islam, such as “Muslim Extremist”, to sell tee-shirts that say “extreme Muslim”, as a way of commodification.
They assert their identities while fighting negative stereotypes of Islam and Muslim women. Entrepreneurial Networks are also a way to empower women to deal with Islamophobia.
Dawoodi Bohras is a religious group known for its trading activities and entrepreneurial spirit. Around one million people live in the community, primarily in India. Smaller diasporas are spread around the globe.
Bohra woman’s work is not only a means of earning money, but also a part of their faith and gives their lives meaning. This idea is based upon historical examples such as Khadija , the wife of Prophet Muhammad, who was a known tradeswoman. It also reflects equality principles that encourage men and women to work together for happiness and prosperity.
Indian Dawoodi-Bohra women stroll along a Mumbai street. (AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)
Bohra women traditionally either sold their products at home or operated physical stores. The rise of digital entrepreneurship has allowed them to expand their business online. They sell everything from the unique dresses of their community to accessories like skullcaps and prayer mats.
Some women only sell online, or use it as an extension to their physical business. Women can form groups on their websites or other social media platforms. They can also have their own website.
Bohra women are known for their entrepreneurial efforts on social media. The community’s entrepreneurial spirit and its eager embracement of digital media has led it to provide financial assistance, online workshops and training, and virtual marketplaces that help women succeed.
During the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns, the official business department of the community, Al-Tijaarat Al-Raabehah helped many entrepreneurs to move from traditional marketing to digital.
The Dawoodi Bohra Model shows how community support for digital entrepreneurship helps women achieve financial success and independence while respecting religious beliefs and norms.
Social media platforms, despite their small size in terms of reach and demand, have allowed Bohra woman to expand the possibilities of their lives and build strong networks around the world.