While the economic crisis and soaring cost of living have affected the lives of all Sri Lankans, women have borne the brunt of it due to the dual burden of earning an income while performing unpaid care work at home for their children or their elderly relatives. This has led to many women seeking employment opportunities that offer them a degree of flexibility and the freedom to fulfil their responsibilities towards their families.
Having identified this need and as an organisation with a social conscience, Daraz has been providing women the opportunity to work as delivery partners of Daraz Express, where despite their social footing or level of education women are provided an opportunity to earn a stable income in a safe environment while working flexible hours.
On International Women’s Day 2023, we sat down with two of the women delivery heroes who have been empowered by Daraz. In telling us their stories, they explained the reasons they chose to work with Daraz Express and the, challenges they overcome and the value that the occupation has added to their lives.
Manori Chandani Peiris is a 46-year old mother from Battaramulla who provides for her 22-year old daughter, and began working with Daraz one and a half years ago after having been a rider with a similar delivery service.
Carrying out deliveries in and around Nugegoda, Manori achieved the all-island-highest deliveries during the 11.11 sale in 2022. She considers cultivating good relationships with her frequent customers and being familiar with the roads and landmarks in her delivery area as her keys to success.
Reflecting on her experience with Daraz Express over the past 18 months, she highlights the flexibility to work from 8.00 am to 2.00pm preferring Daraz Express as a preferred employer.
Manori runs a catering service and engages in dressmaking in her spare time while working with Daraz Express. She is confident that these multiple income sources would help her achieve her life goal of ensuring a stable future for her daughter.
“I would like to encourage women to be fearless and approach life with a never-say-die attitude. We must always think of innovative income sources to secure our financial independence and the stability of our families,” she says, as her advice for Sri Lankan women on International Women’s Day.
34-year-old Shamila Noor is a single woman from Dematagoda who provides for her mother and three sisters. Having previously worked with a similar delivery service, she has noticed many improvements in her life since joining Daraz one and a half years ago.
Shamila says she prefers Daraz as an employer as it enables her to earn a stable income which is sufficient to manage her financial responsibilities while enjoying comfortable lifestyle and saving up for the future. Eligibility for EPF and ETF and the flexibility of working between 8.00 am and 2.00 pm have also contributed to her decision to continue deliveries with Daraz for the foreseeable future. While working with Daraz Express, she is free to attend a class to learn the art of Mehendi, engage in dress-making, and run a part-time cake-making business, which she aims to develop over the next few years.
“I want to start an online cake making business and become a professional mehendi artist. One day, I wish to build a house and provide my mother with a comfortable life,” Shamila says of her future plans.
Working with Daraz has empowered Shamila to be independent and pursue her passions despite societal pressures. Therefore, she encourages other women to break through traditional barriers imposed by society and follow their dreams through financial independence.
Daraz Express has enabled women like Manori and Shamila to achieve stability in their lives and work towards achieving their dreams. This International Women’s Day, we pledge to continue our endeavour to empower our communities and especially the women of Sri Lanka during these trying times and provide them with equal and equitable means in which they could build financial stability and independence while participating in the economic recovery of the nation.