National ID card (NIC) is an indicator of an individual’s belonging to a country to prevent forgery, ensure electoral transparency and ease public access to various services such as education, medical care, and employment. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, majority of the women are still denied this basic human right. According to Institute for War and Peace Reporting, 56 per cent of women do not have NICs. This number is high despite all the efforts of government and national and international organizations that provide public awareness about the benefits of attaining Tazkiras.
Zardozi Kadars came to know the problem when women in Shewaki located in the South Eastern part of Kabul city, did not have identification cards to receive loans for their start-ups.
When the Kadars asked the women to make Tazkiras, they saw a resistance by the male family members who did not deem it necessary for women to have NICs.
Thirty-three years old Jamila who attends the Shewaki Manbeh said that she took her ID card when she was suffering from back pain and therefore had to travel to Pakistan. In order to travel, her family had to get her Tazkira. “Otherwise, I would never have one,” says Jamila.
After discussing the problem with Kabul office, Zardozi Kadars decided to convince the families of the clients and spread awareness about the importance of National ID cards.
Persuading men to unlock their women from social taboos is not as easy as the story is being told in words or the successes being achieved. Neither is being a Kadar easy to tackle societal problems. Kubra explains that it took two months to talk to families and go back and forth to their homes until they finally convinced their men.
The men agreed only if the Kadars accompanied their women to get ID cards for them. Currently 22 clients of Zardozi have Tazkiras in Shewaki village. Some of them applied for Zardozi loans using their ID cards to start their businesses or buy the necessary equipment for expanding their work.
Sakina who attended NIC awareness session in Manbeh says, “There is nothing wrong with holding a Tazkira. It determines that I am Afghan; without it I am no one.”