Women Bazar in Kabul

40 Women Conquering the Afghan Market
Yesterday, the “Women Weekend Market“, a three-day business exhibition for women, started at Kabul University. It will last until Thursday, 9th October. The show provides a platform to more than 40 women to sell their products and to do business in Afghanistan. The Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme for Sustainable Economic Development and Employment Promotion (SEDEP) organised and funded the bazaar and the exhibitor’s support.

The event also aims at connecting academics and professionals. Ten female students of Kabul University’s Faculty of Economics mentor the businesswomen to help to improve their sales.

When opening the exhibition, the Deputy Minister of Commerce and Industries Mr Feroz Khan Masjidi emphasised: “We want to increase the connection between the academic sector and governmental organisations to improve coordination between both.” The Director of Kabul University Mr Farooqi added: “The Women Bazar at Kabul University will provide a great opportunity for students to learn about the market and products sales.”

Women-owned businesses are less present at local markets, and many women cannot afford to rent a shop in malls. Often, markets or malls do not offer a safe environment for women. Besides challenges when it comes to low productivity, weak marketing skills and low income, women are not protected from harassment, robbery and public threats. Therefore, women weekend bazaars offer a unique opportunity for them to work in a safe environment to boost their business. 

In 2016, the Afghan-German Cooperation’s programme SEDEP financially supported the first women weekend market lasting three days, assisted by the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. The event was a success: the 35 attending businesswomen sold products worth almost AFN 900,000 and concluded many new contracts. Due to this success, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry organised two more women markets in Kabul in 2017.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH implements the programme Sustainable Economic Development and Employment Promotion (SEDEP) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). The programme aims at creating new jobs and income opportunities for all Afghans. Activities focus on five value chains, including nuts, dairy, poultry, wheat and vegetables. Between 2014 and 2016, SEDEP has organised agricultural training courses for almost 23,000 Afghans, covering cattle management, controlled breeding and seed production. In addition, from 2015 to 2016, more than 6,700 long-term and more than 6,000 seasonal jobs have been created and incomes of employees have increased by 30 per cent, including 43 per cent women.

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