Afghan Women’s Business Center Suffers Under the Taliban Restrictions
A women’s business center in Herat, established to provide livelihood opportunities for women, has been forced to close most of its floors due to the Taliban’s new regulations targeting women and girls. The upper floors of the center, where courses took place, including language and vocational training courses, have been closed, leading to a 50% reduction in income for the businesses operating on the ground floor. The de facto authorities in Kabul introduced regulations that bar women from secondary school and private classes, traveling long distances on public transport without a male relative, and working for non-governmental organizations.
The center was established as a pilot project requested by the community and supported by the UNHCR and Women Activities and Social Services Association to provide livelihood opportunities for women in western Afghanistan’s Guzara district, home to high numbers of returnee refugees and displaced Afghans. The area was designated as a priority area for return and reintegration, and the center aimed to provide English, computer, and vocational training courses for women to improve their livelihoods. However, the center had to close due to the Taliban’s restrictions on women’s education and work opportunities.
The closure of the women’s business center and other similar initiatives underscores the challenges that Afghan women face under Taliban rule. According to the UN, around 70,000 women worked for NGOs in Afghanistan before the Taliban took control, and their closure has left many women without livelihood opportunities. The report can be found here.
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