| Oct 5, 2023
Refugee Women Entrepreneurs: Bridging the Gap
The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 forced more than 300,000 Afghans including women and children, to take shelter in Pakistan. Beyond Taliban oppression, Afghan women face long-term sociocultural factors that restrict their access to education, work, and social services. Lack of rights, personal and family reasons, economic reasons, curtailed freedom of movement, barriers to women’s and girl’s health and education forced them to leave their country.
Moqah Foundation is aware of the fact that all refugees are disadvantaged, some refugees, particularly refugee women, encounter more significant difficulties than others in creating the lives that they desire. They have restricted access to the formal labour market and limited political-legal rights in the host country. Hence there is a stronger focus on starting businesses and engaging in self-employment.
Moqah Team conducted a survey in the neighboring refugee community to identify the target training audience. After identifying a group of keen learners and in collaboration with APWEE, a 5-day enterprise development training workshop was organized to empower Afghan refugee women with the skills and knowledge needed to start and sustain their businesses. Starting with a thorough needs assessment to understand the specific needs and aspirations of the refugee women, factors such as their educational backgrounds, skills, language proficiency, and cultural sensitivities were taken into consideration. Since most of the participants were Persian speaking, a facilitator who could speak their native language was recruited. Life skills, such as communication, problem-solving, time management, and self-confidence building were included to help these women navigate daily challenges effectively.
Some participants expressed aspirations of opening their shops, beauty salons and grocery stores
The organization will be assisting them with starting small businesses and connecting with local entrepreneurial resources, at the same time connecting refugee women with experienced mentors or successful refugee entrepreneurs who can provide guidance, share their experiences, and serve as role models.
We will be implementing a system to track the progress of participants and measure the impact of the training program over time. All this is only possible with the generous support of our donors who help us make the community a great place to live. Special thanks to APWEE for partnering with us and for their confidence in our work.