Afghan sisters give hope to girls through tailoring workshop

By Emran

Two Afghan sisters in Herat province have established a tailoring workshop for girls and women who have lost their jobs or were forced to stop their education. [Emran/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- In the basement of a five-storey building in northern Herat city, 60 young females are busy learning tailoring.

Some are school or college-age students; others have lost their job in the past year. But one thing they all share is their resolve to learn and work and be active members of society.

"We will fight to bring back hope and achieve our goals," said Nadia Rasouli, 17, a junior high school student. "If we cannot go to school today, we will definitely open the doors of schools tomorrow or the day after and resume our studies."

"I am sure that with time, and through pursuing education and knowledge, we will return to normal life and be successful."

Young women at a tailoring vocational workshop in Herat learn sewing on February 16. [Emran/Salaam Times]

Young women at a tailoring vocational workshop in Herat learn sewing on February 16. [Emran/Salaam Times]

This, in turn, will help save Afghanistan from poverty, she added.

The vocational training to teach tailoring skills to women and girls deprived of education and work was launched last month by two sisters in Herat city.

"My spirits were very low after I lost my job and was trapped at home," said one of the sisters, Mariam Yusufi, who lost her job at a local NGO after the ban on women's work for NGOs took effect last December.

"We decided to launch this vocational workshop so that we have something to keep us busy as well as create an opportunity for other girls to come out of their homes and engage in activities," she said.

"Sitting at home and waiting for others to decide our fate are not the solution," Yusufi said. "Girls and women must find the courage to come out of their homes to work and learn."

Her sister Yalda, 19, was a first-year student at Herat University before the ban on girls' education was implemented. She now teaches tailoring to the 60 women and girls attending their workshop for free.

The objective of this vocational workshop is to build the capacity of girls and women and save them from psychological and mental pressures and the stress of being trapped at home, she said.

"I am a woman and have a deep understanding of the country's situation," she said. "I want to support women through this workshop so that we have more capable females in our society."

Fight for women's rights

Samira Noori, 18, a senior high school student, started taking English and computer courses after schools closed, but even those were banned later.

Staying at home and waiting for the reopening of schools were torture, she said.

"There was no more hope. I was stressing myself day and night at home, seeing my hopes destroyed, so I decided to join the tailoring workshop, which is the start of my social activities, and I am going to be more and more active."

"I have been coming to the tailoring workshop for 20 days and am hopeful in life again," she added. "I am sure that schools and universities will reopen and until then, I will continue my work and social activities outside the home."

Girls deprived of education have been demanding the reopening of their schools and universities.

With the closure of educational institutions, girls have lost all hope, said Fatima Noorzai, a ninth grader in Herat city.

But her mental state has improved ever since she started taking tailoring, she said.

"I have been suffering for more than a year and a half from the closure of schools," she said. "We Afghan girls call for the immediate reopening of schools and universities."

"We have big dreams that can be realised only through education. We want to serve Afghanistan and bring prosperity to our people through education," she added.

Asma Mohammadi, in eighth grade, also has been coming to the tailoring workshop for over three weeks.

"Since the closure of schools, I had been at home and under so much mental and psychological pressure due to stress. But since joining the tailoring workshop, I have been happier," she added.

"My demand, like that of every Afghan girl, is to reopen schools and universities for girls. The longer these educational institutions remain closed, the more time will be wasted for girls, and they will lose hope," Asma said.

With the reopening of schools and universities, the road to education, through which Afghan women can build a bright future for themselves and for their country, will reopen, she said.

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After the winter holidays in Afghanistan, the universities opened again for boys, but girls are still not allowed to go to universities and schools above the sixth grade. In December last year, the Taliban ordered the universities not to admit girls to the universities until further notice, which has not yet been completed. During their previous era, the Taliban had issued a decree that girls were banned from education until the second order. Afghan girls were deprived of education, and a generation was left illiterate and in the darkness results of which we observed. They always did what they wanted to; they were exploding bombs, they had no thinking of building the country, they were not taking responsibility, etc.; however, the families who faced getting an education and wanted to serve the government did so. Girls are the backbone of society, and we have an unbreakable relationship with them in one way or another, like sisters, mothers, sisters-in-law, and wives... We are heartbroken for them, but because the Taliban is a radical group, we also could not call out fear, and we could not demand their right to give our sisters the right to education or not deprive them of it. It breaks my heart to see boys attending university but girls sitting at home. There is no place in the holy religion of Islam where girls should not get modern higher education. The Organization of Islamic Cooperation has called banning women and girls' education an act "against Sharia and Islam's tradi


When we are facing obstacles on the way, we may better change our path. Those who choose to isolate themselves from other people after getting defeated or limited and think about their defeat should get up and choose an alternative way so that their daily life can go forward. They may not reach their goals until the ground is prepared again, but setting goals and working simultaneously is necessary. In today's era, most young people, whether they are boys or girls, they want to reach their goals through education and studies, but life is not all fixed; that is, what we want does not always happen, so it is useful to change our path, and after waiting for some time, we reach to our desired goal. The youth of the country may better tolerate the current situation. As there are issues in the field of education, they may better change their direction the way these girls have done, and when they get the opportunity, they may continue their studies.


Afghan women and girls are dealing with severe mental and emotional problems. Women and girls are imprisoned in their homes, and without being able to move freely or study, they experience extreme emotional and psychological stress. Especially the women in charge of their families suffer from the imposition of restrictions and want the international community to prioritize their requests. The other thing is that, since the time the Ministry of Higher Education of the Taliban, in its last move, has instructed the private universities and private institutions of higher education in Afghanistan to allow girls to participate in the entrance examination of these universities until the second order, 52 private universities and higher education institutions in Kabul are facing the threat of collapse only in Kabul. If it falls, we have trapped ourselves in the darkness.


One of my life experiences is that women are more responsive and disciplined than men. From a psychological perspective, women make one or more rivals for competition in life. Life progresses, and one becomes happy when competing with someone in a field. This site is extreme for women. If we think about school, girls go to school more regularly than boys; they don't skip school. Their clothes are clean, they have given good covers to the books, they have drawn flowers in their notebooks, their homework and the papers they use for homework are more beautiful and nice compared to the boys, their writing is more beautiful than that of boys. Its living example is this same news. Why are they all like this? This is because the artistic side of girls is stronger than boys. Girls are talented in all artistic works. A good example is this news. With the recent political changes in Afghanistan, boys are under more pressure than girls. There is no income, and life becomes bitter, but this does not mean we should sit at home. It is helpful to find alternative ways of living and thinking. I am sure that Yalda used to work in an office before tailoring. Now she has made himself and others busy with tailoring. There have been several benefits for the community; she did not burden herself on the shoulders of society, she changed the way of earning for herself, she made others busy with her, and others will also learn from her. Wow! life is beautiful. We can live if we want to live. Let's liv


60 of our Afghan sisters gathered and want to learn sewing as a profession. These 60 of our sisters want to be able to use this sewing technique to prepare living for themselves in the future. Our sisters should not be disappointed, find a job for themselves and do not submit themselves to the oppression of others, and do not become victims of others. Gathering of these Afghan sisters under a single umbrella shows that our sisters are hopeful for professional educational courses and will never surrender to the times of ignorance. Our Afghan sisters should make a lot of efforts to learn something and keep their mind busy with some tasks. Nothing can be done by sitting at home, until schools and universities begin, you should make yourselves busy with technical work.