Islamic Clothes

KABUL, Jan 20 (Reuters) – At a small tailoring workshop in Kabul, Afghan entrepreneur Sohaila Noori, 29, watched as her workforce of about 30 women tailoring scarves, dresses and baby clothes plummeted.
A few months ago, before the hardline Islamic Taliban took power in August, she employed more than 80 workers, mostly women, at three different textile workshops.
“In the past, we had a lot of work to do,” says Noori, determined to keep her business afloat to hire as many women as possible.
“We have different types of contracts and we can easily pay seamstresses and other workers, but at the moment we don’t have a contract.”
With the Afghan economy mired in crisis — billions of dollars in aid and reserves cut off and ordinary people without even basic money — businesses like Nouri are struggling to stay afloat.
To make matters worse, the Taliban only allow women to work according to their interpretation of Islamic law, prompting some to leave their jobs for fear of punishment by a group that severely restricted their freedom the last time they ruled.
Hard-won gains for women’s rights over the past 20 years were quickly reversed, and this week’s report from international rights experts and labor organizations paints a bleak picture of women’s employment and access to the public space.
While the economic crisis is sweeping across the country — some agencies predict it will push nearly the entire population into poverty in the coming months — women are feeling the effects in particular.
Sohaila Noori, 29, owner of a sewing workshop, poses in her workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan, on January 15, 2022.REUTERS/Ali Khara
Ramin Behzad, the International Labour Organization’s (ILO) senior coordinator for Afghanistan, said: “The crisis in Afghanistan has made the situation of women workers even more challenging.”
“Jobs in key sectors have dried up, and new restrictions on women’s participation in certain sectors of the economy are hitting the country.”
Employment levels for women in Afghanistan fell by an estimated 16 percent in the third quarter of 2021, compared with 6 percent for men, according to a report released by the International Labour Organization on Wednesday.
If the current situation persists, by mid-2022, women’s employment rate is expected to be 21% lower than before the Taliban takeover, according to the International Labour Organization.
“Most of our families are worried about our safety. They call us repeatedly when we don’t come home on time, but we all keep working … because we have financial problems,” said Leruma, who Only one name was given for fear of her safety.
“My monthly income is about 1,000 Afghanis ($10), and I’m the only one working in my family…Unfortunately, since the Taliban came to power, there’s (almost) no income at all.”
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Post time: Jan-22-2022