We are proud to announce the successful opening of the first ever Women’s Market in Badakhshan province. The market consists of four shops run by women, selling products made by participants in Afghanaid's projects.

Empowered women lead the way

Since 2013 Afghanaid has trained around 14,000 marginalised women in northeast Afghanistan and supported them with material and financial inputs to produce goods and provide services. Many of these women are now generating their own income, thereby reducing their families’ poverty. As a result, they have increased confidence, freedom and influence within their households and communities. But Afghanaid knew there was more that could be done.

Cultural restrictions exclude women from selling their products at the main market in the provincial capital where demand is highest. They are restricted to selling or simply exchanging their products in their villages where demand and prices are lower. That is why, this year, we have established a Women's Market, set within the provincial capital's grocery market, to give them direct access to better markets.

One of the new shops sells dairy products produced by a Women’s Livestock Association established by Afghanaid. They are selling 100 cans of yoghurt and cream a day and demand is even higher. Abdul Ghafoor, Head of Retailers for the market, commented, "Their dairy products beat the foreign products in terms of quality. If only we could get more."

These shops are set to greatly increase the women’s income, autonomy and self-belief; enriching communities, encouraging economic growth and creating a more resilient Afghanistan.

Sustainable success

Another shop was established in Fayzabad Airport, the small airport serving the provincial capital. Four months down the line, we stopped by to see how it was doing. The shopkeeper, Taj Nisa, and her husband Ghulam have 10 children. They have a small garden where they cultivate vegetables to feed their family and one cow that gives them milk, but before running this shop they were both unemployed, so this new source of income is life-changing for Taj Nisa’s family.

The shop sells all sorts of products made by Afghanaid project participants, so it generates an income for other vulnerable women across the province too. The shop also sells other basic items that can normally be found at airports, such as water and chewing gum. Taj Nisa identified gaps in the market and decided to add mobile phone top up cards and feminine hygiene products to the shop, both of which are selling well.

The response to this shop has been incredibly positive and demand is increasing all the time, so much so that the family has requested to expand the size of the shop. 

Find out more about our vital work with women.