Cashmere and Silk Production in Afghanistan in Jeopardy After Taliban Takeover
Afghanistan is the third-largest cashmere producer in the world after China and Mongolia. In total, the country exports cashmere worth 18 billion dollars a year that has long attracted foreign investors. Afghanistan’s cashmere industry, which was the focus of initiatives and a joint venture with Burberry and Oxfam in 2018, is in a state of uncertainty following the takeover of the country by the members of the Taliban terrorist organization.
Taliban officials have already said that women workers must soon leave their jobs and return home. Namely, this concerns the majority of workers in factories that produce this material. The same goes for silk production.
Empowering women has been the main goal for the Burberry Foundation and Oxfam initiative. For example, 28 percent of the shepherds supported by the initiative today are women. The companies try to promote women to leadership positions, as well as invite women coordinators to the stores.
Now women, who are mostly employed in the production of raw materials, are locked at home. As a result, it is expected cashmere clothing may rise in price against this background.