World Handicrafts Day: Women face lack of market for their items

KABUL (TOLOnews): On World Handicrafts Day, many businesswomen in the country expressed their concerns over lack of market for their products.
They said that there has been a decrease in the market for their products over the past two years and that they need support from relevant institutions.
“We ask the government to help women,” said Rokhsar, a female investor who has worked in the handicrafts business over the past four years. “Women should be supported so they can stand on their own feet and make progress.”
“Our business has slightly declined since (the Islamic) Emirate assumed control. The sales decreased due to the poor economic situation of the people. They cannot afford to buy our products. Also, our products are not sent abroad due to the closure of air corridors for women,” said Benafsha, a businesswoman.
Akhundzada Abdul Salam Jawad, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, said the Islamic Emirate has a commitment to assist female entrepreneurs and that the ministry is working to address women’s issues.
“We fully support women who are engaged in handicrafts business, and we create markets for their handicrafts both inside and outside the country so that they may make an important contribution as a powerful part of the country’s commerce sector,” Javad noted.
Meanwhile, the Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that women’s chambers of commerce have been established in 16 provinces of the country.
“Chambers of commerce have been opened in sixteen provinces, even in the provinces that we did not expect, such as Nangarhar, Laghman, Kunar, Nuristan, and Herat, and in Kabul,” said Salma Yousefzai, the chairperson of Women’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Previously, the acting Minister of Industry and Commerce, Nooruddin Azizi, said that more than 50,000 companies are informally led by women in the country, of which 5,000 companies are operating officially.