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Painful stories of households without patriarchs

Painful stories of households without patriarchs

author avatar
21 Feb 2024 - 09:54
Painful stories of households without patriarchs
author avatar
21 Feb 2024 - 09:54

KABUL (Pajhwok): Some widows complain about hardships and economic problems in their lives while religious scholars say the government and every member of the society is responsible to help vulnerable families.

Government officials, however, say the process to provide aid to widows is ongoing.

Samar Jan, 39, a widow in Qala-i-Naw City, the capital of northwestern Badghis province, said her husband was killed in a landmine blast three years ago and she has two daughters and a son.

Samar Jan said she sew clothes at home, washed clothes and cooked food for neighbours to support her family.

She said: “Our life was not bad when my husband was alive, he was a farmer and sometimes worked as daily wager, but after 1400 solar year, he joined the army, we told him not to become a soldier, but he would say what should I do, there is unemployment, he was deployed in Islam Qala, but after 15 days he was killed in a landmine blast.”

She said it was her husband’s wish that their children get education and have a happy life, but he did not reach his dream.

Samar Jan said: “Being a widow is very difficult, when my husband was alive, I would stay at home, now when he is not here, I have to sew clothes, cook food in other homes, wash their clothes in order to earn money for living.”

She was happy with the overall improved security in the country, but added that the government should support vulnerable people and widows.

Begam Saadat, a resident of Shiberghan City, the capital of northern Jawzjan province, is another widow whose husband died 13 years ago due an illness. Since then, she has been looking after her six children.

She said her husband worked as a security guard in a hospital in Shiberghan City and she would sew clothes at home and they both met the expenses.

Referring to the death of her husband, she said: “My husband once promised to take us all to Mazar-i-Sharif for sightseeing. One night when I was asleep, there was no electricity and my husband was on duty at hospital. It was an uncomfortable and lengthy night. My brother-in-law’s wife called me and said Hakim had fallen ill in the hospital and the news of his demise arrived in the morning.”

Baigam said then a difficult phase of her life started.

She said: “I went through a lot of hardships, one of my neighbors would send me 10 breads daily, but they were not enough for our three times meal. I would give my children food twice a day. Then I started working in people’s homes and washed clothes until my son got the job of a cleaner in a hospital.”

Baigam said: “Once an individual came to our house and said: ‘Do you know what your son is doing?’ I said no, I don’t know. Did he do something wrong, the visitor said your son used to sell his blood for money at the hospital. I realized why his skin color is getting yellow. When I asked my son about it, he said his salary was low and when someone needs blood at the hospital, he gives it against money, my son said that he was completely fine and I should not be worried about his health.”

She said her elder son also worked as he was unable to get education.

Baigam, however, said: “My other children are studying and it was my husband’s dream that our children should study.”

She said her life was an example of what all Afghan widows were going through and asked the government to pay more attention to the lives of widows and provide them with work opportunities in order to protect them from economic difficulties and other vulnerabilities..

Ferozan, a resident of Kabul City’s 22nd Police District, is another widow who looks after her three daughters and three sons. Her husband died three years ago.

Ferozan got married at the age of 18 and now she is 37. She said she and her deceased husband had a married life for 16 years and they struggled with tough economic situation in the hope that one day their life would improve, but her husband took this dream to the grave.

She said: “My life partner worked day and night, he was a hardworking man, but lately he joined military and was killed during a firefight in Faryab.”

She said her husband would not come home for month and would send his salary home through friends or through Hawala. He would always say if his income improved even a little, he would quit his job as he was tired of traveling.

Ferozan now looks after three daughters and three sons. Her elder son goes to school and works after school time.

She also wanted the government to help widows and provide their children with work and vocational training so that they can study and earn a living for their families.

Mufti Faisal Khamosh, spokesperson for the Ministry of Martyrs and Disabled, told Pajhwok Afghan News nearly 615,000 disabled and widows were registered with the ministry nationwide.

He said this figure included widows and disabled of the past government and those associated with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA).

He said 9,000 of them were widows.

Mufti Faisal said the ministry continued to provide vocational trainings to disabled persons and orphans in different fields.

He said with support of welfare organizations, the ministry was providing cash assistance to 130,000 widows, orphans and disabled, in addition, widows are provided with tailoring machines and this process is underway.

According to Mufti Faisal, the Ministry of Disabled and Martyrs has distributed 11 billion afs among widows and disabled persons through banks.

Noorullah Kawsar, a religious scholar, said: “Society is like a family in which every citizen has a special responsibility, the Islamic society is a responsible society, It is not like the western society in which there is selfishness, In the Islamic society, people are inter-connected and related to each other in such a way that they can never be separated, so those who have economic problems in life, all the people of the society and the government have the responsibility to help them.”

Referring to the situation of widows, he said the government was responsible for families without a male leader in their house.

He said it was also the duty of scholars, media and elders in a society to convey the voice of vulnerable people to others


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