As the common saying goes by, “men and women are two wings of a country. Just like a bird cannot fly with one wing, a country cannot develop without men and women working together.”
Zardozi Kadar’s are trained and empowered to educate other women about their social and legal rights. They raise awareness about the significance of women’s participation in solving community’s problems that strangle them equally.
Recently, our clients in districts of Mini Baba Yadgaris, Baba Ali Shir and Choghdak gathered to consult with Kadars to solve their problem with public transportation and cleanliness of roads and streets. Issues that were ignored by the men, women were now taking the lead to bring government’s attention to develop their areas.
Facilitating trade and transportation
On the outskirt of Mazar-e-Sharif, Mini Baba Yadgaris is a small village with little access to urban life advantages. When Zardozi clients and Kadars met on a usual Manbeh (Community Business Center) meeting day, they brought up the lack of public transportation which was affecting their access to market and businesses.
In addition, the people of the area commute several hours on feet to reach to the bus station to get to their destinations. Robbery, physical and verbal harassment are some of the biggest problems that the villagers face. What is more worrisome is that the women are harassed in the bus station which is normally packed with more men. Most of the times, the drivers don’t allow women on their buses because the male travelers do not sit next to them due to religious and cultural restrictions.
During the Manbeh meeting with Kadar, the women prepared a petition and submitted it to respective elders and council of the community for approval and further suggestion. The petition was also to make a request for women-only-transportation into the area.
The elders of the community assured that the government will first construct the roads followed by a proper public transportation system for men and women of the community. The government started the implementation of this project at the beginning of 2020.
In Choghdak village of Mazar-e-Sharif, 21 clients of Zardozi continuously insisted on the request for garbage collection from community elders until they themselves approached the municipality to provide them a garbage collection truck.
Zardozi Kadars and Executive Committee Members of this Manbah wrote an application to Clean and Green Cities Directorate of Mazar-e-Sharif’s Municipality to solve their problem. When the community leaders learned about this, they also felt obliged to support the women and to connect them with a relevant Directorate in the district.
After several visits to the Directorate and follow up of the issue with elders of the village, the women were able to receive a garbage collection truck in their areas. Currently, the truck removes waste from their neighborhoods on daily basis and each home pays a small fee in return.
The ECMs of Zardozi say, “People pray for us every day for making this happen. It feels very good to be appreciated.”