Women-run silk garment factory in Herat faces declining sales

In the silk manufacturing sector, more than 700 women from the Zindajan district of Herat province have established a joint ownership company where they manage the entire process of production and distribution of silk garments. But the CEO and workers said the company was facing a drop in sales.

Most employees support their families financially.

Sima Sayee, a 25-year-old employee, said she had been involved in the company’s silk weaving for about six years.

Sayee said she had a big impact on her family’s finances because of the salary she received from working at the company.

“I weave two or three handkerchiefs every day and make 150 to 200 afghanis,” Sima told TOLOnews.

However, women working in the company said that compared to the past, their work has decreased.

“Our business has not been doing well for a year because there are no buyers,” said Nooria, a resident of Zindajan district.

“We have been working here for six years; it has been wonderful for us and we have won too,” said Maryam Osmani, another resident of Zindajan district.

These women who work for the company have developed the silk industry in the province of Herat.

The entire process of silk production is carried out by these women, from the raising of the worm and its transformation into a cocoon, to the treatment and coloring of the silk, to the weaving and the creation of the products in silk finished.

“We were denied access to exhibitions inside and outside the country, and everyone who bought our work left the country. Unfortunately, no one buys our products,” said Maryam Shaikh, CEO of the company.

“No one from outside the country came to us so that we could sell our products to them, and no exhibitions were held,” said resident Zhela Hekmat.

Zindajan district province in Herat is where most of the silk industry is located. This industry, which is mainly run by women, has had success in the past. However, silk weavers say that over the past year their business has declined due to a lack of sales and the inability to export silk products.

Michael O. Stutler