Empowering Afghanistan’s Weavers

The impact of cultural heritage preservation goes far beyond sustaining centuries-old traditions at risk of being lost. Testament to this is our work with hundreds of female weavers in Afghanistan. Here, this precious asset holds the key to alleviating poverty and represents a lifeline for hundreds of families facing economic turmoil.


Across the Kabul, Jawzan and Balkh provinces, our one-year pilot programme with the Qatar Fund for Development is providing 3,000 female artisans with the opportunity to generate income for their households, connecting them with international markets at a time of political uncertainty.

One of the most important elements of this programme and our work with Afghan weavers is our longstanding partnership with Label STEP – making sure that women can safely and fairly weave in their homes or designated weaving centres.

BD Caravan Serai Weavers 041020 Jim Huylebroek AFG 22 min

The fair trade NGO works tirelessly to ensure all weavers are paid a fair wage and are able to work in a safe, healthy and hygienic environment – including limiting the maximum number of hours they can work – and prohibiting child labour and discrimination.

Label STEP carry out community trainings to educate artisans on current industry demands, safe working conditions, and preventative methods, as well as performing in-depth interviews to fully understand their personal needs. In addition, Label STEP provide medical support to weavers and their families, as well as provision of support such as doctor prescriptions, eyeglasses and ergonomically-designed looms. This support will be tailored and scaled in the coming months.


To learn more about Label STEP’s 10-step standard visit this page. We look forward to sharing more updates from this programme later in the year.