HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): A number of working women in western Herat province complain of tough jobs and low wages, saying they have no option but to work hard.
Nafaz Gul, 50, working in an almond processing factory, said she cleaned 40 kilograms of almond for 30 afghanis from 7:00 am to 5:00pm.
“I have been working for five years here, I am given 30 afghanis a bag and with this wage we just manage to eat,” she told Pajhwok Afghan News.
Khar Bibi, another woman who has to do difficult work for low wages, said: “In the morning, after performing prayer, I leave for work.
“When I receive my wages at the end of the day, I can’t help but wonder what to buy — food, tea or medicine — for myself?”
Shah Gul, 35, who is working for a private firm, said she earned 160 afghanis a day. “I have no breadwinner and have to feed eight family members.”
Gul Ahmad, owner of the almond cleaning plant, said he could not pay the women more than 30 afghanis a day due to lack of work and market.
He added he could not even pay 30 afghanis but the women were helpless so he paid them that amount.
Fareshta Yaqoubi, a women rights activist, said: “The wages women receive are so low, considering the hard jobs they do.
“They are not safe and have not health coverage. No attention is paid to their plight either by the government or women’s institutions.”
Muniza Hassanzada, social affairs officer, said there were rules for workers and employers. Unfortunately, she said, employers were either unaware of the rules or did not enforce them.
Abdul Qayyum, director of laboir and social affairs, said: “We have monitoring teams, which manage to resolve the problems but workers who spend their day cleaning raisin and almond are paid lip-service.””
Under Article 31 of Labor Law, weekly work hours for employees are reduced in the following cases:
Four youth between 15 and 18 years of age 35 hours a , for employees engaged in underground work and work under conditions that are injurious to their health 30 hours and for pregnant women 35 hours.