‘Kashmiri Female Chefs Cook Up a Storm’

<strong>‘Kashmiri Female Chefs Cook Up a Storm’</strong>

Shatter Gender Stereotypes!


SRINAGAR, Mar 16: In a historic first, nearly half a dozen women from central Kashmir’s Ganderbal district have become successful chefs, breaking the stereotype of the job, hitherto, being domain of the men.

These women, now known as ‘Wazas’ (traditional Chefs) in Kashmiri language have made a name for themselves by serving famous delicacies to the people.

Despite facing numerous challenges, they persevered and continued their training since 2013, with one of the chefs, Humaira. While talking to Kashmir Despatch, she said, “We faced many odds, but we never stopped as we knew these skills are going to provide us many benefits in the future.”

Other members of the group of chefs include Ishrat Irshad, Zahida Basheer, Akhtar Jan, and Yasmeena Bano, who have all managed to break into the male-dominated field and excel.

Humaira, who hails from Lar area of Ganderbal district, observed that Kashmiri Waza was a male-dominated job in the area, but they managed to get engaged in the field and started their training at Solina.

These women have even set up their unit and are being invited to various functions like engagements and marriage-related events. Although they don’t own a restaurant yet, they prepared food for Amarnath yatris at the base camp last year, and some of these women run a canteen at Rambagh in Srinagar.

Additionally, Humaira has installed her food-cart at Boulevard in Srinagar, where she serves delicious food. She now urges other women not to give up on their passion and work hard to achieve their goals.

The success of these women has inspired many others in the region to pursue their dreams, regardless of gender stereotypes. “This landmark achievement is a significant step towards gender equality and empowerment in Kashmir,” said Masarat Arar, a social activist and commentator on women empowerment.

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