Weaving Carpets: A Journey Towards Women's Empowerment
DACAAR provided carpet weaving training to internally displaced women in Qaderabad village in Injil district of Herat province, funded by the Department for International Development (DfID) of the United Kingdom government.
The women faced many obstacles before they were able to participate in this program. For example, their husbands and relatives would not allow them to leave the house.
DACAAR’s female Social Organizer, Ms. Rita Saqib, explained: "We carefully selected the beneficiaries and we could not drop those women whose husbands did not give permission. So we talked to their husbands and to their male relatives and explained the program."
Convincing male members of the family was a challenge. "We showed them the training centre which was located in a safe place, and told them that we have female teachers, and there are no other men in the centre."
As a result, 28 women from three villages were trained for seven months and graduated successfully by the end of February 2019.
The main objective of this DFID project was to promote early recovery and durable solutions for protracted IDPs and Returnees. DACAAR implemented the programme in Herat and Kandahar from 2017 to 2019, as part of the Early Recovery Consortium (ERC) which consisted of three INGOs - NRC, DACAAR, Afghanaid - and UN-Habitat.
Long-standing cultural and religious beliefs in Afghanistan keep women from participating in social and economic activities and make them dependent on male members. This situation is exacerbated by lack of access to education and employment opportunities.
Poverty is another tangible issue especially in rural areas of Afghanistan. Female headed households are twice as likely to suffer from poverty as male headed households.
Abdul Raziq Kiani
Date: April 25, 2019