By: Shukria Kohistani
Improving of women autarchy are increasing due to support of government and Afghan businesswomen are witnessing growing opportunities in recent years.
In an exclusive interview with The Kabul Times reporter, congratulating 8th of March, the women solidarity day to all women of the world and Afghanistan, Zobaidah, one of the businesswomen who supplies Afghan handicrafts in Bagh-e-Zanana ‘Women’s garden’ said, with improving security, support of the government and international community as well as the people from businesswomen, would help encourage their works in the country. “I although have started business with a small sewing machine but managed and succeeded and now supply and produce colored clothes with different designs to domestic and foreign markets.”
While she is mother of 6 kids, manages to provide all her family expenses independently. She added, that the Afghan government has provided good conditions and work opportunities to businesswomen, and availing these opportunities and conditions, her business has been progressing and was able to export her stuffs to external markets.
“I stitch 6 pairs of clothes per day with my sewing machine. I also receive offers from outside and supply to my customers specially to Dubai, Tajikistan and India. Increasing offers promote my business,” she added.
Zubaida 50, being satisfied with her business asks Afghanistan’s Chamber of Commerce and Industries to support them further to develop their activities. She has been working in the garden for 10 years, considers Bagh-e-Zanana as a secure place for women business and social activities. She pays Afs 4600 per month for her shop’s rent but complains on lack of regular power energy that disturb her activities.
She asked other housewives to be involved in economic activities, support their economy and exploit available opportunities.
“I have ACCI membership, but they have never invited me to take part in foreign exhibitions.
Once I was invited to an exhibition in the USA but someone else was sent instead of me in my name and it discouraged and disappointed me. But I will not stop and would continue my business with firm determination,” she noted.
Answering a question if she was optimistic about peace, Zobaida said: “Every Afghan support peace but reliable not a temporary and shaky peace to send women back home and prevent their socio, economic, cultural and political activities. Women have extensive presence in today’s Afghan society, and they supported peace must that not negate these values and opportunities from our people particularly women.”
Zubaida is the only Afghan businesswoman in Bagh-e-Zanana whose works have been appreciated by a foreign body. She wants the government to support them further.
She said, her efforts have been an example to many Afghan women and girls. “I have created occupational opportunities to large number of women, and they have managed to make their family economy self-sufficient.
Security, organizing of exhibitions and marketing are demands of Afghan businesswomen from the government, she concluded.