Feature: Afghan woman make their own sweet living in Mazar-i-Sharif

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, January 25, 2022
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MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Contrary to alleged reports of women being confined to home under Afghanistan's Taliban administration, nearly a dozen women and girls are seen hard at work in a confectionery shop in the northern city of Mazar-I-Sharif.

The owner of the shop, Sayed Abas, told Xinhua that 10 women and girls work there regularly, making cakes and biscuits.

"The ladies working here have had no problems resuming work. We all enjoy working here," said Habiba Amini, one of the sweet makers.

Amini said that Mayor of Mazar-i-Sharif Mawlawi Qudratullah Tareq had visited the store to show his support for working women. The mayor rejected reports of women being beaten and confined to their houses by authorities, saying, "Women have the right to work."

The Taliban administration has, however, barred women from working in some government entities and has stopped girls from attending school beyond grade seven. In Kabul, spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said schools for girls would open in the new school year, which begins in March.

Following the abrupt withdrawal of U.S.-led forces in August 2021, Washington has imposed sanctions on the embattled country, seizing Afghan assets and compounding the poverty brought by 20 years of foreign occupation.

Women are an important part of what workforce remains amid the devastation in Afghanistan, most notably in health, schools and retail.

Mother of two Adalat Bahri is a manager of the Rabia Balkhi market, a bazaar for women who run their own businesses including confectioners, shoe shops, restaurants and handicrafts.

"I have been working for here for two years and make enough to support my family," she told Xinhua.

"Finding a job today is very difficult, even for men. I feel lucky to have a regular job and income," she said. "I want to see women working and jobs are provided for people who are hungry in the country." Enditem

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