The Goldozi Project

  • Duration:
    April 2018 – April 2022
  • Value: $9.7 million


Despite an eagerness on the part of Afghan women to contribute to the economic well-being of their households, family obligations and cultural norms constrain them from pursuing activities outside the home. As a result, only 16 percent of Afghan women participate in the workforce, the seventh-lowest rate in the world.

Options for home-based work are limited by existing skills, access to techniques and technologies, and linkages to viable markets. Traditional embroidery is a suitable option with great potential for increasing incomes. Nearly all embroidery jobs are held by women who are disadvantaged by cultural, social, and economic obstacles to employment. The Ministry of Labor reports that embroidery is the fifth most common occupation among Afghan women, employing roughly 400,000. In Kabul, embroiderers work an average of 38 hours per week, earning just fewer than 10,000 Afghanis ($200 in 2017 USD) per month.

The Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan recognizes the export potential of Afghan embroidered products and sends small handicraft enterprises to international trade exhibitions. These efforts have increased direct sales, regional awareness of Afghan crafts, and linkages to regional markets. However, there is room for Afghanistan to improve its export share further.


  1. Generating Revenue and Sustainable Jobs
    • Launch of Goldozi Partnership Network as a source of expertise, support services, and market linkages
    • Establish a certified skills curriculum and course for sales agents
    • Establish training providers for the Goldozi certificate course
    • Recruit and support sales agent trainees
    • Mobile support for training and market information
    • Linking sales agents and embroiderers
  2. Support Trade Promotion and Increased Exports of Embroidered Products
    • Develop the Goldozi brand
    • Launch a domestic marketing and outreach campaign
    • Launch a global marketing and outreach campaign
    • Create market linkages


The Goldozi Project ("Goldozi" is Dari for "Embroidery") is a four-year, $9.7 million activity to be implemented by FHI 360. The purpose of the project is to upgrade the skills of and increase access to market information for 15,000 vulnerable women embroiderers in and around Kabul, thereby increasing the commercial and export potential of their products. This tested approach will also create a class of over 500 trained and certified sales agents who are equipped with new skills and access to market insights; connect them to embroiderers and other actors along the value chain, from input suppliers to retail and export markets; and build and promote a strong brand that advertises the authenticity and ethical production of its product lines.

Last updated: September 17, 2018

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