Afghan women have a natural talent for making handicrafts. The skill has been transferred from parents to children over generations.
During the last few years however, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, non-governmental organisations and the international community have made efforts to modernise the Afghan cottage industry by providing training and business acumen to the workers.
The Department of Women Affairs in Balkh province, in collaboration with the Council for Women, recently organised a two-day handicrafts exhibition for local women in the city of Mazar-e Sharif.
The objective of the fair was to display the skills of the local women by presenting their handicrafts to potential buyers. A large number of local shopkeepers and residents attended the exhibition and showed a lot of interest in the items on display. By paving the way to the markets, handicraft business will provide new job opportunities for women and a chance to support their own families.
“Afghan handicrafts are of a very good quality, even better than imported goods. I am convinced that local women’s handicrafts will find their way to the consumers,” said Farzana Rahimi, who was visiting the show.
The items on display included handcrafted decoration pieces such as miniature traditional Afghan burqas, fancy dresses for children, women shawls with intricate embroider, braids, tablecloths, bed sheets and hundreds of other handicrafts.