Following a long time of inactivity, Khadija-tul Kubra, a market in Herat dedicated to businesses run by women, has been reopened.
Many businesswomen in Herat have resumed their activities. They said they have to carry on with their business activities despite serious obstacles.
“I have never lost my motivation and energy, now all the women are ready to continue their activities,” said Sidiqa Tamsaki, head of the market.
Khadija-tul Kubra is one of the well-known marketplaces in Herat city where hundreds of women used to work before the fall of the previous government, but their numbers have since decreased.
The shopkeepers of the market said that they want to be able to resume their usual jobs and start making money once again.
“We are very delighted that girls are making their handicrafts and they bring it here, we buy from them and then we sell them to the customers,” said Fershta Eshaqzai, a shopkeeper.
“Now, a small number of customers are coming, and they are asking us if we have reopened our shops,” said Jamila Rasooli, another shopkeeper.
All of the buyers and sellers at this market are female.
Customers at this market said that they are pleased because the atmosphere is more peaceful and pleasant for women to buy.
“When the atmosphere is all for women, women are comfortable to buy whatever they need, we are very happy that these markets have reopened,” said a resident of Herat.
Almost thirteen years ago, a provincial reconstruction team staffed by Italy helped to establish this market. Up to 500 women and girls used to gather here to shop, but as time went on less people started coming.
Previously managed by the Department of Women's Affairs, this market is currently under the control of the Herat Municipality.