Nov 8, 2005
Background and Summary of the Project
by Kandahar Women Community Forum
One of the problems faced by women in Kandahar is the lack of employment opportunities as most women are uneducated and have limited mobility. In traditional, societies such as Afghanistan, many women learnt to do embroidery at a young age. Only some women learnt tailoring as there was limited access to sewing machines and materials.
In Kandahar, previous projects have promoted some small scale tailoring activities for women, but few of them enabled women to gain access to markets and therefore the activity was not sustainable. In most cases, the items were sold to middlemen at low price to be sold in the bazaar. In this case, the middlemen gain most of the profit. With the change in the political situation, women expressed their desire to make and sell their hand-made items at the women’s market in city bazaar.
This project, which provided sewing training, sewing machines, and other necessary materials, were enable them to acquire enough skills to produce sellable products, which enabled them to earn valuable profit to contribute to the household income. This could also help women to develop their self-reliance and self-esteem.
Voice of the Woman in the District #6 of Kandahar
My name is Anar Gula. My husband is a blind and we have eight small children. I was working all day long to make just a little bit of money by sweeping houses, washing clothes, and baking bread as I do not have any special skills.
When UN-HABITAT started the tailoring project in our Community Forum, I was luckily selected as one of the trainees. As trainers were very helpful, I could learn basic skills how to use a sewing machine to produce bags and children’s clothes. During the training, I could not work in full time. But the project gave me $50/month so that I could continue to take trainings.
Now, the project is completed and I could receive a sewing machine! I am working at home and making simple clothes and bags and selling them at bazaar.
Thanks UN-HABITAT and Japanese people to give me hope and the great opportunity to acquire sewing skills. I will not forget your kindness. Now I have more confidence that I can feed my family. I will keep working with other women and make our lives better. I hope similar activities will continue in the future, too. With best regards, "