The Kabul Times.
Economic National

Afghanistan handicrafts on the verge of collapse

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While affecting the entire country, the recent changes, unemployment, joblessness and lack of market in Afghanistan have caused a severe unproductivity of Afghan women’s handicrafts, badly affecting the industry. As a large producer of handicrafts, Afghanistan used to export a variety of homemade products including embroidered clothes, stitching, jewels, different types of embroideries, and so on. However, for
the past few years, the industry lacks the suitable market and faces blockage.
Hamida Rahim, a resident of Kabul who sews dresses at home, said that these invaluable dresses
had flourishing market in the past.
“But as the country faces poverty, economical problems and lack attention of the government as well as lack of funds of engaged organizations, the industry is about to collapse,” she said to The
Kabul Times.
Mrs. Rahim, a 40 year-old mother of eight children, is the only breadwinner in the family.
In the previous government, she had approximately Afg 300-400 daily income, Mrs. Rahim said adding, “As the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan took over Kabul, the income has considerably cut down.”
Meanwhile, these women living in Kabul found many problems being the cause of such collapse including the lack of a permanent working place and well structured market for the handicrafts. Afghan women have been adept and expert in handicrafts, and their products were appreciated worldwide, earning them a
reasonable living. Their handicraft products are warmly welcomed by neighboring as well as foreign developed countries, as the Afghan local dresses are worn by the women of these countries for their
different reasons.
On the other hand, these skilled and artful women find an industrial park necessary so that they can increase their production rate. Such a park, if built, could help handicrafts scale up to larger number, and at the same time can also broaden the market. Consequently, their income will also see a growth.
Another resident of Kabul, Najia said that thousands of women in different provinces all over the country will lose their occupation provided that the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan does not make attempts to cope the problems regarding the Afghan local handicrafts.
Talking about her only source of income, Najia added that the industry of handicrafts provided us with financial support.
“If we lose our income, how can we even afford our daily expenses, let alone supporting our children for education,” Najia said to The Kabul Time.
In response, the IEA officials have many times ensured that the government fully supports the local handicrafts, as they are the representative of Afghan craft and culture in the international and neighboring markets.
The market of such products can certainly be promoted by the popularization of homemade dresses, jewels and ornaments. On the other hand, raising income tax on importing clothing is another venue of solution. The media can also play a significant role in promoting the domestic clothing and ornaments.

Saida Ahmadi

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The Kabul Times.