A Research study in Faryab, Afghanistan
The labour market in Faryab is characterized by high rates of underemployment, low wages, and unskilled and irregular employment. Like most of Afghanistan, the main source of employment is agriculture and livestock. Deeply held cultural traditions reinforce strong gender divides in the labour market. Many women cannot work outside of their homes or travel to local markets to buy and sell domestic produce. As the tempo of international engagement in Afghanistan changes, policy makers and development practitioners are placing increasing emphasis on stimulating independent economic growth. One of the key strands of this emphasis is entrepreneurship, especially for women, who represent a largely untapped labour resource in Afghanistan. But where can women find a foothold in an already overcrowded labour market? What barriers do they face, and how can they be overcome?