QALA-I-NAW (Pajhwok): Businesswomen in western Badghis province have resumed their work after seven months but complain about the decline in earnings and urge government’s support.
The women market in Qala-i-Naw, the provincial capital, was established in 2019. In 25 shops, 65 women are active in the fields of leather embroidery, sewing and food processing.
After the fall of the previous administration in August, 2021, business activity at the women only market had stopped, but recently it resumed activities and women shopkeepers are happy with the resumption of their work.
Halima, one of the businesswomen who is the breadwinner of a four-member family, including her ailing husband, makes a living with selling beverages and fast food.
She told Pajhwok: “I have this shop for the past three years. I earn a living this way.”
She added in the past her capital was about 60,000 afghanis and she was able to support her family of four but after the political change their activities stopped and her capital was looted and she faced problems.
Halima was pleased with reopening of this market, but said she had resumed the business from less than 10,000 afghanis.
She added she earned 60 afghanis a day which was not enough to meet her family’s needs.
Despite the decline in earning, Halima was not discouraged, she was still happy that the market had resumed operations.
She expected the relevant authorities would cooperate with her in this field so that she could boost her business.
Meanwhile, Shafiqa, one of the shopkeepers in this market, was pleased with the reopening of the market.
She urged the government to support women shopkeepers in the market so that they could stand on their own feet again.
Atia Tokhi, head of the women’s market in Badghis, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the market had resumed operations after months of closure, but it did not have the atmosphere of the past.
She also expected government’s support for their business to flourish.
However, Farid Ahmad Siddiqui, the mayor of Qala-i-Naw, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they had always tried to support women so that they could stand on their feet.
According to him, the Badghis municipality is in contact with a number of aid organizations to support women professionals.
“We did a lot of work for the women, we built a market worth 20 million Afghanis, it shows that the government is interested.”