Empowering Women across Afghanistan 

Fundraising Fashion Show and Launching Zeb.

Anita Haidary- YWC Co-founder

On February1, 2013, Young Women for Change (YWC) launched Zeb. Zeb, like Sahar Gul internet cafe is a section of YWC, which helps promote business women and designers. The event launched career of two Afghan Designers, Salma Bayat and Banu Zeerak.  It is the first time that Afghan girls from within Afghanistan are promoting their designs to an Afghan audience, specifically women.

This event was held in a local restaurant, Sufi Restaurant, which is locally designed and shows an old traditional house of Kabul. YWC is a non-profit organization; therefore, it doesn’t have money to pay places to hold our events. Our events always have been held in places that have been generous enough to donate their space for a specific amount time for YWC. As YWC has very limited or most of the time no funding through grants, it is vital for our organization to host fundraising events.  YWC does not apply for funds unless for very important for a specific project. This specific event was a fundraiser for YWC and a step to sustain Zeb Designs.
We did not send out formal media invitations because of security reasons. However the event was publically published on the YWC Facebook page. As our page is open to the public, anyone had access to event.

YWC wanted to support women in business because we believe in that grassroots efforts that support women in becoming financially independent that led to the greater empowerment of Afghan Women. Financial in-dependency directly affects their education, health, and decision making abilities. For example, most women can’t go to doctor when they are sick just because they have to ask for money from their spouses. Girls can’t go to schools because they can’t pay for their uniform and books. These designer clothes are one of ways for women, who are unable to go out of their houses, to work and earn for themselves. Business women need support to be launched in the Afghan market and YWC as women organization has believed in helping women and launching their voices in the society especially if the effects were going to women directly. The unique aspect of Zeb is that these clothes are branded and designed by Afghan women for Afghan women. Volunteers who presented the clothes were organized by the designers.
This is also directly connected to our first campaign against harassment. Women are not only harassed on the street but also in shops, markets, and tailoring shops run by men. There are countless stories detailing the harassment in tailoring shops while noting measurement. Furthermore, they have to go through this harassment because they have no other options because there are very few women tailors due to lack to skills, education and funds. The market is filled with clothes that are imported from Pakistan, China and Iran. Thus, Afghans are losing their style as they are forced to wear designs from other countries. This is one of the ways to open Afghan market and attention to Afghan style of clothing. This is an option for women to go to women tailors. Also wear clothes designed according to their culture.

We thank people who came out and supported us. We extend our gratitude to Mr. Ajmal Parasa and Morcha Band, the first Afghan rock band; Thank you for donating your time and art to YWC.  Lastly, we are also thankful for Galleria for letting us borrow their men’s wear.

YWC believes in launching businesses that support the voice and rights of women. Thus, we are excited about supporting Zeb.

Link to the event page:  https:///

Link to YWC FB page: .af

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