Conflicts & War

Unemployment rising in Afghanistan, particularly affecting women: watchdog

Kabul, June 15 (EFE).- Unemployment in Afghanistan has been on the rise, particularly affecting women, since the Taliban seized power in August last year, a report by the United States government watchdog said on Wednesday,

“By mid-2022, the total job losses since the Taliban takeover (are) projected to reach between 700,000 and 900,000,” the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a tweet that included the report on the social and economic developments in the war-torn Asian country.

SIGAR underlined that women have been particularly impacted by the situation.

“Women accounted for 17% of Afghanistan’s labor force in 2020,” the watchdog said, adding that it was projected to decrease by 21 percent by mid-2022 as compared to before the Taliban takeover.

SIGAR also posted a video of several employees of the Supreme Court of the former government protesting in front of the court in Kabul over the nonpayment of their salaries.

“It has been 10 months since we last received salaries,” said a woman protesting in the video clip, adding that currently, they were living in Afghanistan with “no fate.”

With the Taliban returning to power, the international community temporarily suspended funds for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, which accounted for around 43 percent of its gross domestic product – according to data from the World Bank – and froze its assets abroad, which aggravated the humanitarian and economic crisis in the country.

The hardline Islamist group has overturned the rights of women in various ways – from preventing girls from attending high school and segregating public spaces to banning women from traveling alone without a male companion.

The Taliban initially pledged to preserve women’s rights.

However, Islamist dictates are increasingly in line with strict policies the group introduced during its previous rule from 1996 to 2001 when women were forced to stay indoors and barred from work or study.

The ministry of propagation of virtue and prevention of vice is behind many of these measures, being an institution that was very active during the first Taliban regime but was shut down following the US invasion and the subsequent two decades.

After the Islamists seized power on Aug. 15, the ministry was reinstated in place of the now-extinct department of women. EFE


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