Afghan Businesswomen: Inspiring the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

January 29, 2011

In Afghanistan a new generation of businesswomen is now inspiring their daughters, friends and even their husbands to start their own ventures. The business challenges are daunting — lack of capital, insufficient markets, and difficult infrastructure where any exists at all — but the opportunities are great. Nothing changes families lives like extra income — and this goes for women in particular.
“Women found out that when they do business, they have more money and they get more decision-making power in their family — they are more independent,” said Malalai Jawad, an entrepreneur whose silk products generated $8,400 in sales last year.
This economic power also makes a difference in creating more stable communities: as one entrepreneur notes “If people don’t have jobs, they are desperate…All the fighting, the problems in society, are about money and the economy.”
Now we just need more people to see these women for what they are: economic actors to be invested in rather than simply victims to be pitied.
Read the New York Times Global Edition piece here, part of the Female Factor series: Women Help Each Other Start Businesses in Afghanistan