Written By Zahra Rashidi
Despite the ban on girls’ education, Husna Raoufi, nearing the completion of her journalism and public communications studies at Kabul University, did not give up. She established a small tailoring workshop, offering 13 women and girls independent income opportunities.
Husna does not necessarily need the income from the workshop, but she must make her own decisions, work, and take responsibility for any mistakes she might make.
She believes in personal growth and independence, yet she is grateful for her family’s support as she navigates the trials and errors of individual development. In a cultural and traditional context where many Afghan families discourage their daughters from pursuing their goals, Husna’s family stands firmly behind her, a valuable source of support.
With faith in herself and the power to convey significant ideas, Husna says the importance of supporting women in Afghan society. She believes that if every family focuses on their daughters’ abilities and financial independence, everyone can work independently and achieve substantial progress. Drawing from her experience as an entrepreneur, she emphasizes that limitations are not always permanent, and individuals can progress even in challenging circumstances.
In less than a year, Rainbow Workshop has grown a lot. They make things sold not just in their own country but also in other countries. The workshop’s success comes from the hard work of girls who want to be independent and have strong friendships.
Another reason Rainbow Workshop has achieved this level of success is that many of its employees are students or graduates from various fields of study. Their educational backgrounds have elevated the workshop’s work level and improved the quality of its products. All of this has happened while the Taliban administration has issued more than 70 separate decrees to exclude women from society and confine them to their homes.
With the re-emergence of the Taliban in Afghanistan, women and girls faced more restrictions. Sports, which ensure personal health, were banned for them. Consequently, concerns about women’s health and their mental well-being increased. This affected women and girls who were professionally or regularly engaged in sports.
Nevertheless, some women like Saghar Fazli, who had achieved significant success in the Judo section, maintained their courage. Saghar, deprived of sports, discovered her talent in the field of design and started working at the Rainbow Workshop. She is responsible for designing clothes there and generates independent income through this work.
Saghar is a fourth-year student of Law and Political Science. However, like Husan Raoufi, she has also been deprived of continuing her education and is now working on projects to produce women’s clothing at the Rainbow Tailoring Workshop.
According to her, women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan face numerous limitations but can achieve their goals with determination, willpower, and proper support. There are many examples of entrepreneurial women in Afghanistan who, with spirit and effort, have succeeded in advancing and managing their businesses under challenging circumstances.
However, to increase the role of women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan, there is a need to change the culture and attitude of society and the government. Financial support, education, providing resources, and more opportunities for women entrepreneurs can help them realize their full potential.
The government can create a conducive environment for the growth and development of women entrepreneurs by establishing supportive policies and programs specifically tailored to them. Additionally, providing entrepreneurship skills education to women and girls in schools and educational centres is a step that can assist them in achieving their goals.
Furthermore, the community can contribute to women’s progress by changing attitudes and supporting women entrepreneurs. Increasing awareness of the importance of women’s roles in the economy and society, encouraging purchases from women-owned businesses, and creating opportunities for collaboration and partnership with women entrepreneurs can motivate women to succeed in their businesses.
With the efforts and determination of women entrepreneurs in Afghanistan and appropriate support for them, the role of women in Afghanistan’s economy and society will improve, and they will be able to achieve their goals fully.