Uphold survivors' right to economic well-being and independence and foster women driven innovation.
Women in rural Afghanistan are at a disproportionate risk for becoming victims, and thus survivors of, contemporary forms of slavery including debt bondage, forced labor, early and forced marriage, and sexual and domestic servitude. Having been denied opportunities for education or learning vocational skills, survivors are the most vulnerable to future abuse and violence as they often live in poverty, with a mental health disorder, and with few opportunities for economic autonomy.
Women in rural areas, and especially survivors, are excluded from participating in their local economies, and make up as low as 6 percent of the formal workforce. This not only keeps development possibilities low, but disempowers survivors, and breeds cycles of isolation and possibilities for exploitation.
In response to the extreme exclusion of survivors of contemporary forms of slavery in rural Afghanistan, Afghanistan Libre provides women with opportunities for economic reinsertaion through an intensive economic empowerment programme.
To ensure that program graduates have opportunities for safe, decent, and fairly remunerated work, Afghanistan Libre opened the doors to its first Women’s Clothing Cooperative in 2020. The cooperative, which opened in August, has welcomed its first five graduates of the economic empowerment programme as partners. Participants revenues grew by 118% in the second quarter of cooperative operation, the cooperative representing an important livelihood opportunity for survivors. All participants took part in two business management and speciality design workshops in 2020 and spent the second half of the year autonomously growing their vision of the cooperative under the supervision of a commercial director and instructor. As the cooperative continues to grow it will be able to welcome more graduates and will be managed uniquely by programme participants autonomous of Afghanistan Libre.
Thanks to Afghanistan Libre, I have a job and an income and I can finally provide for my family. After 6 months of training, I received my first order of clothes. Receiving my first payment, for a job I did by myself, filled me with joy. My children are so proud of me. They are so proud that mom can work and find money for her family.
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