Tailoring: A Small Business Skill for Afghan Women


At least 1,000 women each month will learn tailoring and how to run a small tailoring business from their homes. Women enter the course not knowing the basics; they leave with a means to a livelihood and the capacity to provide for their own families sewing needs.



Poverty remains widespread in Afghanistan's struggling economy with refugees particularly hard hit. Widows are especially vulnerable to unemployment and poverty. In order to help widows and other women AIL began tailoring classes. These classes teach women to sew a wide variety of clothing from patterns which they can then sell. They can then make clothes for their families and set up a small home business.


During the tailoring course, women learn to compute budgets for clothing and savings from making their own clothes. They learn to design and make a variety of clothes. They also learn how to set up a home business. Health, peace, and women's rights lessons are also taught during class.

Long-Term Impact

Women learn to save money they would have spent on clothes in order to purchase a sewing machine and start a small business. Course graduates sew their family's clothes, start a home-based business and/or become sewing teachers.

Additional Documentation

This project has provided additional documentation in a Microsoft Excel file (projdoc.xls).


Afghan Institute of Learning Website
Video about AIL and Life in Afghanistan sk
AIL overview
Ted Talk by Dr. Sakena Yacoobi