Established in 1982, the Ayesha Abed was tributed to one of Bangladesh´s most social activists of the 70s. Ayesha Abed committed herself to the issues of education, training and employment opportunities for disadvantaged women. She initiated many of the major activities confronting these concerns. 

Following her steps, AAF started out in Bangladesh´s central district Manikganj. The main goal was to empower illiterate and therefore discriminated women. The foundation hired skilled craftsmen to help train village women in stitching, weaving and dyeing. Till this day AAF provides the women with financial, technical and skill- development training in addition to regular work. Working mothers have access to day care centres for their toddlers while they work, and senior workers receive a retirement benefit.

To come up with a first collection of embroided textiles, the foundation began to study and catalogue the designs and motifs of traditional art forms by visiting museums, elderly craft masters and private collectors. They experimented with all kinds of native forms of design and materials.