Breaking News

Afghanistan: Balkh Province Opens Center for Women in Business

By Azeezat Okunlola | Mar 16, 2023
In the Afghan city of Mazar-i-Sharif, Balkh Province, a shopping mall exclusively for women has been opened, boasting 300 stores.
More than 120 Afghan women now have opportunities to start their businesses, thanks to the centre. These women sell a variety of goods made just for them, such as clothing, makeup, handicrafts, sweets, and mobile repairs.
Earlier, Rahela Yusufzai founded a restaurant in Mazar-i-Sharif to inspire women to achieve economic independence.
"Women can work; it is hard to be in the community and stay at home all the time; I often considered starting my own business and working there," Yusufzai remarked.
However, since the government transition, women business owners in Balkh province have complained that there is no longer a domestic or international market for their wares.
Over half of women business owners, according to the group of female entrepreneurs, have quit because there are no policies in place to support the sale of goods manufactured by women.
Furthermore, the low purchasing power and economic crisis dim the women's manufactured products and factories.
Notwithstanding the "lack of sales market for women's products," the Chamber of Industry and Mines in Balkh province has pledged to promote female entrepreneurs and business projects.
In January of this year, the Taliban's vice and virtue department reportedly ordered many women's shops in the region to close down immediately.