Women attend handicrafts expo in Herat

At least 50 women participated in a three-day exhibition of handicrafts in the city of Herat, the first of its kind over the past year, with the hope to improve their businesses that have seen a major fall recently.

The products were are made displace women and returned refugees. Many of them ran small and medium businesses previously.

Organizers of the event said the exhibition held by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is aimed at improving the market for women’s products within and outside the country.

Female investors said they hope to expand their businesses despite a challenging economic situation in the country.

“People’s economy is not good. Women need to support their families economically and such opportunities will help them improve their businesses,” said Benafsha Ahmadi, a woman investor.

“I am happy about the event… We need support from the people and the government,” said Aqila Rezaee, another female investor.

Thousands of women have lost their jobs and lost their businesses over the year following major political changes in the country.

Nargis Hashimi, chairperson of the women’s chamber of industry and commerce in Herat, said they have succeeded to support nearly 4,000 women through their programs over the past few years.

However, she said that lack of market for women’s handicrafts and lack of training opportunities for them are main issues for female investors.