In the heart of Baghlan, Pul-e Khumri, and numerous surrounding districts, a notable employment shift has occurred, with dozens of women and girls who once held government positions or were students now finding themselves in the tailoring.
In Baghlan province, the tailoring factories, under the management of Mrs. Muqadas Ahmadi, have become a refuge for around fifty women who have found employment in the tailoring industry. These women, previously engaged in various professions, have taken up tailoring as a means of livelihood.
One noteworthy aspect of these factories is their commitment to providing tailoring training to women and girls who have not had formal education in this craft. Mrs. Ahmadi, the manager of these factories, however, emphasizes the need for additional support from either the government or non-governmental organizations to ensure that proper training can be offered within their facilities.
"These women need to be trained; they need to work and provide food for their families," Ahmadi said.
The transition to tailoring has been a significant change for these women, many of whom received vocational training to acquire the necessary skills. These individuals, who once pursued different careers, now find themselves compelled to engage in tailoring as their primary source of income.
This shift in employment patterns highlights the importance of vocational training and support for women in Baghlan Province, as they adapt to new opportunities and challenges in the workforce. It also underscores the potential for NGOs to collaborate in providing essential training to empower these women further in their new careers.
A young female tailor, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated, "I used to be a 12th-grade student; now, our schools are closed because I work here."
She added, "My ambition is to study and then work."
At first, authorities shut down secondary schools for girls, restricted women from entering universities, and hindered the work of many Afghan female aid workers. Furthermore, various public places like bathhouses, gyms, and parks were declared restricted areas for women.
Starting from August 2022, a staggering nine out of every ten Afghan families are unable to provide sufficient food, marking the highest rate globally. Nearly 20 million Afghans live in uncertainty about their next meal, with six million of them on the verge of famine. The levels of moderate acute malnutrition in the country have reached their highest recorded levels.
The Taliban's takeover in Afghanistan led to a 25% drop in female employment, worsened by restrictions on women's work and education.