A group of progressive women have started up a bakery in the volatile northern city of Kunduz – in what is believed to be the first bakery to be solely female owned and run.
Breaking social taboos in the conservative city, the five women officially opened Women’s Bakery Center on January 1, which is located near the city center.
Kunduz city has twice been attacked by the Taliban since September 2015 – which has had a negative impact on businesses ever since.
However, the aim of the bakery, which was initiated by GIZ, is to help the women become financially self-sufficient.
Already, these hard-working ladies are churning out over 300 naan (flat bread) an hour but also bake cakes, samosas and bolani, said Sayed Karim Musawi, who helped set up the project.
Meanwhile GIZ hopes to open a second branch, in the Imam Sahib district of Kunduz, in the near future.
“I hope that the bakery attracts more customers in order to help Kunduz women. All the equipment for the bakery was brought in from Iran. We are happy that brave women are working here,” said Anisa Omid, the head of the bakery.
“We are very happy that women are active here. The programs are aimed at helping women become self-sufficient and also to decrease violence against them,” said Farzana Sadat, an official from Kunduz Women’s Affairs Department.
Officials said the bakery is a key project within the country’s “say no to violence” campaign, which also aims to encourage women to become part of society.