FAIZABAD (Pajhwok): Some women entrepreneurs in northeastern Badakhshan province have been thrilled with the reopening improved business condition of small markets in the Eshkashim district on the border with Tajikistan.
They said their business had improved despite the absence of support from international and national organisations.
Shema Naeemi, director women entrepreneur market in Eshkashim district, said the sale of women handicraft items improved by 30 percent in the markets on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
She said the supply of women entrepreneurs’ products such as handicraft item, food and dairy products had improved market condition in the district.
A few months before the political change in the country, this market was reopened for business women to supply their and still remained opened on the face of tourists, women and girls in line with the principles Islam and Sharia, she said.
“Initially we were able to hire 60 women for work in the markets but with the passage of time women’s interest in the market declined due to curbs, ban on men to visit the market, but fortunately, situation had improved after the reopening of shared market on the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan.”
She said handicrafts and ornaments prepared by women are displayed for sale by men in the common market for one day (Saturday) in a week.
Naeemi said that women were happy about the market condition now comparing to the past and added some NGOs and organization observed their activities closely but no institution provided support to them.
She asked aid providing institutions to support them and urged government to develop more joint markets for the promotion of their products.
Shaesta, one of the women shopkeepers, said that the ‘Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’ should reopen schools on girls and facilitate the provision of development projects for women.
Mawlavi Saifurrahman, head of the provincial Commerce and Industry Department, acknowledged some challenges faced by the businesspersons in the province and said What they want for the development of Badakhshan local handicrafts has not yet been fulfilled, but efforts are underway to develop Badakhshan local industries.
He added with the reopening of joint markets on Afghanistan, Tajikistan boarder where products made by women are supplied for sale the business situation had improved.
The Commerce Department head said with the reopening of Topkhana Port in Zibak district with Chitral region of Pakistan, the production of local handicrafts such as Gelam, Carpet, Namad, all kinds of jackets and ornaments will be institutionalized in this province and the market for its sale will be provided.
Referring to the demands from women entrepreneur in Eshkashim district, he said the matters would be discussed with the IEA officials to further facilitate women entrepreneur.
He acknowledged no NGO or government organization provided financial support to men or women entrepreneur in the province but efforts were underway to introduce individuals who from the core of their heart want to help business to relevant institutions.