Balkh women open cookie factory with own funds.
The opening of a cake and cookie factory is one of the women’s recent initiatives in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh. Twenty women running this factory hope their economic situation will improve. One of the shareholders, Marzia Ahmadi, told Pajhwok Afghan News she had devised the plan in collaboration with her other colleagues four months ago. She and 19 other women invested in the factory. “We faced some production problems in the beginning but most of them were gradually resolved,” Ahmadi said. They have hired a professional to manage production and they follow his guidelines. She added they managed all factory activities themselves without support from a third party. Masooma, another investor, said besides working at home, women should also get advantage of their abilities outside. She said they offered quality cakes and cookies to the market. Each of the shareholders earned around 4,000 afghanis a month from the factory, she said, adding they were certain their income would increase with the passage of time. The factory has been opened in a special women’s market in Mazar-I-Sharif where 56 shops are run by women shopkeepers. Habiba Amiri, representative of the market, told Pajhwok women sold their handicrafts and food products there. She asked the government to find international markets for Afghan women’s products. Afghan women needed to showcase their products in international markets, but they were unable to do so, she regretted. Provincial Women Affairs Director Shahla Hadid said they supported women in their business activities. She said they facilitated exhibiting Afghan women’s products in foreign countries. Problems in the advertisement area for domestic products need to be resolved, she concluded.
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