Entrepreneur Under the Taliban and Head of Kaweyan Business Development Services
Kamela Sediqi began her first company, a tailoring business, under Taliban rule in Afghanistan to support her mother and brother.1 She set it up at a time when women were forced into the home and were prohibited from attending school, teaching school, practicing medicine, working in an office, or serving in government. If women went out during the day at all, they had to be covered from head to toe with only their eyes showing through a webbed slit that “turned the world slightly blue.”2 Her story is chronicled by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon in The Dressmaker of Khair Khana which describes how Kamela and other Afghani women had to navigate the restrictions placed by the Taliban to support their families. Kamela’s story begins when she feels the pressure to help her family in hard economic circumstances. She convinces her sister to teach her how to make a dress and then has her brother take her to the market to sell it. A local shopkeeper buys the dress and orders more, changing the course of Kamela’s life. Through her business venture, she goes on to employ her siblings, friends and neighbors.3 Kamela now runs Kaweyan Business Development Services, a consulting firm that operates in Kabul, Heart, and Mazar-e Sharif. Her firm which employs 25 men and women, more than half of them full time, trains adults in basic business skills such as idea development, marketing, and accounting. Her goal is to grow Kaweyan into one of South Asia’s leading consultancies.4  CS Monitor: Afghan woman is all about business. CS Monitor: The Dressmaker of Khair Khana.  ibid.  CS Monitor: Afghan woman is all about business.  ibid.