Women-run silk garment factory in Herat faces declining sales

HERAT (TOLOnews): In the silk manufacturing sector, more than 700 women in the Zindajan district of the province of Herat have established a joint ownership company where they manage the entire production and distribution process for silk garments. But the CEO and workers said the company is facing declining sales.
Most of the female employees support their families financially.
Sima Sayee, a 25-year-old employee, said that she has been involved in the company’s silk weaving for around six years.
Sayee said she has a big impact on her family’s finances because of the salary she receives from her work at the company.
“I weave two or three handkerchiefs every day and make 150 to 200 afghani,” Sima told TOLOnews.
However, women who are working at the company said that compared to the past, their work has declined.
“It’s been a year since our business has not done well because there are no buyers,” said Nooria, a resident of Zindajan district.
“We have been working here for the past six years; it has been wonderful for us and we have earned too,” said Maryam Osmani, another resident of Zindajan district.
These women who work for the company have expanded the silk industry in the province of Herat.
The whole silk production process is carried out by these women, from rearing the worm and transforming it into a cocoon to processing and coloring the silk, to weaving and creating the completed silk products.
“We were denied entry to exhibitions both inside and outside of the country, and everyone who purchased our work has left the nation. Unfortunately, nobody is buying our products,” said Maryam Shaikh, CEO of the company.
“No one from outside the country has visited so that we can sell our products to them, and no exhibitions have been held,” said Zhela Hekmat, a local.
The province of Herat’s Zindajan district is where the bulk of the silk industry is located. This industry, which is mainly run by women, enjoyed success in the past. However, the silk weavers say that during the last year their business has declined as a result of a lack of sales and the failure to export silk products.