Carpet-weaving women in Kunduz seek access to market
KUNDUZ CITY (Pajhwok): Women carpet-weavers in northeastern Kunduz province on Monday called their vocation as a good source of income, urging the government to find a proper market for their products.
Kunduz’s hand-made carpets enjoy special fame in northern Afghanistan. Although the industry has been weakened over the past few decades, it has gradually limped back to revivalin the last 10 years.
The best rug woven in Kunduz is called Mawr, which is of more exquisite quality comparedwith Turkish and Iranian varieties. Six square metres of this carpet cost up to 30,000 afghanis.
More than 170 poor women in Kunduz City, the provincial capital, and 100 others in Khanabad district are currently receiving carpet-weaving training.
One of the trainees, Hamasa, has been weaving carpets over the past four months. She has already learnthow to create strikingcarpet designs.
A mother of six, she says: “My husband has a mental problem and cannot work. To me, carpet-weaving is the only way of feeding my children and meeting other family needs.”
Hamasa, who once eked out a living by cooking, washing clothes and tailoring, was unable to meet her domestic needs. She is currently weaving carpets after completing the training course.
Mohammad Kamran, director of Peace Organisation in Kunduz, said the training programme was launched four months ago with the cooperation of the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.
The course, scheduled to concludetwo months later, will help women work independently as carpet-weavers. The participants, having honed a variety of weaving techniques, would be handed equipment to help them at the end of the programme.
Sardar added each trainee received 2,000 afghanis a month in transport expenses. The aim of the training is to help poor women work independently and supplement their husbands’income.
It was the first training programme for carpet-weavers, he said, adding more such initiatives would be launched in the future.
Peace Organisation has been operational since 2007 to provide vocational training to women and promote their economic empowerment in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Social affairs.
Abdul Ahad, director of vocational training at the Department of Labour, said they were collaborating with donors to find a gainful market for handicrafts, including carpets made by women. Carpet-weaving has been a rewarding vocation for women.
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