Why Launch a Labelling Initiative for Afghan WomenMade Products?
In the introduction of this concept document, Deputy Minister Kamila Sidiqi touched on a number of factors that inspired the development of the Made by Afghan Women (MBAW) labelling initiative.
Speaking from her deep experience in the Afghan private sector, Ms. Sidiqi listed various challenges that Afghan businesswomen face. These include societal expectations that dissuade Afghan women from entering business, cultural taboos that limit the movement of Afghan women outside the home, and the small and medium-sized nature of most women-owned businesses with little available cash for marketing activities or international sales trips.
Besides addressing societal and cultural disadvantages that Afghan women have faced and continue to face, the MBAW initiative has the potential to boost Afghan exports at a time when stakeholders from the Afghan public and private sectors, along with Afghanistan’s supporters in the international community, have all come together to improve Afghanistan’s trading prospects
and increase the visibility of Afghan products in global markets. While international media attention may have turned to other parts of the world, there is still considerable interest in both the East and the West in the situation of Afghan women. A labelling initiative will allow major international wholesalers and retailers to identify and prioritize the purchase of Afghan women-made products.
In developed markets, highincome consumers are increasing conscientious about where and how the things they buy are produced. At the well-stocked shelves of retailers that cater to these very same high-income consumers, an identifying mark that attracts the buyer’s attention could be enough to influence a purchasing decision.
Another reason for the Made by