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Afghanistan’s fashionistas

Afghanistan’s fashionistas

Women in Afghanistan are using some of the country’s oldest traditions in an effort to rebuild its global image.

April 12, 2010 4:59 by

The difficulties of running a business out of a war-torn country cannot be underestimated, however. The shortage of electricity and lack of government support (in terms of promoting a free market economy) constitute the top challenges, according to the women we spoke to.

“The government does not really understand free market economics,” says Hassina. “So it is hard to conduct business given the lack of tax laws.” She also says that it is tough and often expensive to access necessary raw materials, and that – compared to neighboring India – labor in Afghanistan is expensive.

Zolaykha’s long term vision, she says, is to bring back the importance and value of the arts and crafts to the country and its people. She envisions the creation of a Center for Design in Kabul, for training and promoting textile and clothing design.

“But to the world outside of Afghanistan, my vision is to promote the richness of this culture and a positive image of a country that is usually known only through the prism of war and violence,” she says.

These women-led projects could be a key part of the process to rehabilitate the war-shattered country.
Additional reporting by Tanya Goudsouzian.
Trends magazine

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