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Teen girls banned from school in Baghlan turn to carpet weaving

(Last Updated On: June 19, 2023)

Teenage girls in Baghlan province who have been denied access to an education for the past two years have turned to weaving carpets in a bid to help support their families.

However, these girls have said they have little access to markets to sell their products and they face a shortage of raw materials.

“Even the carpets we weave do not have the right price and the price is low, we still have to work day and night and it is very difficult,” said Soraya, a carpet weaver in Baghlan province.

Officials from the Baghlan Carpet Weavers Association say that the lack of a suitable market for carpets and the lack of direct access to raw materials for carpet weavers is a serious problem – one which needs to be solved by the government, they said.

“We have 500 families of carpet weavers and 150 families of rug weavers. The carpets are made here. The material comes from Kabul,” said Mohammad Arif Ghulami, the head of Baghlan Carpet Weaving Association.

The local officials say that they are taking measures to solve these problems, and most of the carpets in this province, which used to be processed in Pakistan, are now being processed in Kabul.

“In the Republic’s time, carpets were woven in Baghlan, after being transferred to Kabul, they were taken to Pakistan, where they were processed and sold to other countries under the name of Pakistan, with the establishment of Islamic Emirate, now it is woven and processed in the country and sold under our own name,” said Ezat Mir Haqqani, the head of culture of Baghlan Department of Information and Culture.

Carpet weaving is historically and important industry in this northern province, which provides work for thousands of families.