Masuma 26 years young women have joined Zardozi’s business center in Mazar Sharif in the year 2018, here, you can find out how Masuma, developed her business from basic sewing to advanced tailoring since she joined Zardozi’s team. Tailoring is now Masuma’s merely occupation and she loves her profession. At the beginning, she might have faced numerous challenges like many other self-employed women in Afghanistan but what is interesting about this lady is she could develop her business too quickly within one year. Her personal efforts and her family has been her greatest motivation and have played a vital role in her success.
Masuma, lost her parents long ago in Afghanistan’s civil war and she had to look after her younger brother and sisters as she is the oldest member of her family. Generally, being responsible for the survival of family is the heaviest load on one’s shoulder but in specific as a woman, taking this responsibility requires a lot of courage and efforts, it is even harder to pursue on this responsibility in a man dominated and rigid culture in a society like an afghan society where the old traditions are being practiced. In our society it is too challenging for an uneducated woman to find job in today’s job market, firstly and secondly
even if she finds a job it would be so difficult for young women to keep up the job due to social and cultural norms, (working outside for a woman is not acceptable by many families and communities in Afghanistan). Therefore, women feel more secure and comfortable to undertake home-based jobs rather than working outside the home. However, even Self-employed women in Afghanistan are confronted with many conflicts as they must conform to boundaries and social expectations.
Economic necessity, illiteracy, and social norms had led most of the afghan women to choose tailoring as their profession and as a source of income.
The research by AREU in 2014 has shown tailoring occupation constitutes 25.1% of the total urban market labor participation in Afghanistan, out of which women tailors constitute 68% of the whole tailors’ community.
Masuma used to think it is impossible to earn sufficient money through working from home, so she was seeking a job outside her home to financially support her family. She became disappointed until she found Zardozi members. There, she had access to a professional trainer and business development advisors by which she could come up with a great idea of starting her own business of tailoring in her home. She could engage her siblings to assist her in her new business at home. It was more acceptable for her society and more comfortable for Masuma, and her siblings to take their business at home and earn money through it. During the last six months, Masuma had earned 40000 AFN as her net profit by which she could pay the expenses of her brother’s wedding and purchase raw materials for her business. Currently, two home producers and two-family members are working with Masuma in her business.
She proudly speaks this out now that no matter whether you are working from home or outside, you just need to value your ability and the courage to move on.