Women attend Herat exhibition, aiming to enhance their products

A group of women on Wednesday participated in a three-day exhibition in the city of Herat in the west of the country with hopes of enhancing the quality of their products.

The exhibition, which prominently featured booths operated by women, has been held to mark the tourism week.

Among the exhibitors, men showcased their products and handicrafts in 40 booths, while women occupied 100 booths.

Notably, the exhibition also welcomed students who have been deprived of schooling due to Taliban restrictions and have started small businesses, seeking respite from mental and emotional pressures.

“This is my first time participating in this exhibition. I hope more such opportunities will arise, allowing me to showcase my products to a wider audience,” said Marwa, a student from Herat.

Maleka Sadat, another student, voiced concerns about the differential support extended to various arts. She lamented that while some arts receive substantial backing when noticed, similar opportunities aren’t always available to women.

“Such initiatives offer the best opportunity to support domestic production by women,” said Faryal Ghaznawi, a small business owner.

The exhibition featured an array of products, including clothing, handicrafts, artwork, and wooden crafts, all skillfully crafted by the hands of women. Visitors enthusiastically encouraged fellow citizens to purchase women’s handicrafts to contribute to the growth of the women’s economy.

Majizha Noori, one of the visitors, expressed pride in the women of Herat for their continued ability to create beautiful handicrafts that captivate audiences.

In conjunction with the event, Taliban officials said they have designated the week as “Tourism Week” and offered free access to Ikhtaruddin Castle, a historical site in Herat, for both men and women over three days.

“To honor the tourism industry, we have established Tourism Week, featuring various programs,” said Naeemul Haq Haqqani, Taliban’s head of information and culture in Herat.

It’s important to note that this exhibition took place in the context of the Taliban’s ban on women working in non-governmental institutions. This policy has posed challenges for women who serve as the primary providers and heads of their households.