Free Women was started by Hanifa Javadi, who came to the United States as a refugee from Afghanistan. Even while facing abuse and discrimination in her home country, she dreamed of one day starting her own sewing business where she could enable women to gain social power through economic security. Today, she has fulfilled that dream by employing 26 refugee women including widows, minority groups, those with disabled children, and women in abusive situations to become “free women” through their own earned income.
“Each month, I send money back to Afghanistan and they pray for this business. When you support this business, you are supporting women and families. This job is not just for me, it’s for everyone. When I see the work I’ve done, I feel good. I’ve learned how to organize and how to check the quality of a piece. I believe in myself now. I used to think, 'Maybe this is a dream,' but I know now that I have the power to run this business.”