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Home | Opinions | Social | Widowed women & the challenges they face

Widowed women & the challenges they face

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Widowed women & the challenges they face
 Many widows do not receive support from their relatives – the relatives who are also fraught with persistent violence and poverty in the country.
In a country where women rarely work outside, few have jobs. Those who qualify the government assistance do not know about it.
The three decades of war in Afghanistan has created a large number of widows. The vast majority of widows have received a small amount of irregular payments – instead of regular wages. 
Nadia’s husband enrolled in the Afghan army in fall 2007. His vehicle was targeted by a roadside bomb ten years after he was deployed to Gardez city of Paktia province.
In an interview with The Kabul Times, the 25-year-old mother of two children, said her daughter was one year old when she lost her husband.She added that after the death of her husband, she receives 8000 Afghanis every month – with a delay – the amount that is not good enough for their family’s living. She pays 2000 Afghanis monthly rent for their house. 
Nadia says she is a young woman and she cannot work outside – it is not acceptable for the society – she cannot do handicraft job at home as well.
The Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled in Afghanistan says that the ministry has registered about six hundred thousand widows in 2015, and there are no precise statistics on widows, and the figures are based on the job. Women soldiers of the army, police forces or other government employees are entitled to regular wives’ salaries, while civilian women killed in attacks have the right to receive AFN 5,000 per month.
Nisa Gul’s husband was killed when her child was 45 days old in Herat province. Now she supervises her three children, and she is working embroidery to pay for basic living expenses. 
She added: “One year since her husband’s death, she has not received monthly salary, and yet her book has not yet been completed; only her husband’s ekramya ( the money that paid by the government for an army death )has earned ¾ of it.”
 This is while lately John Sapko, a US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconstruction or SIGAR, has reported that some of the widows of Afghan soldiers have been sexually abused by some officials to get their husband’s death payments. 
 Another woman who lives with her husband’s family in Jalalabad said that she lost her husband in Helmand province two years after her job.
She says life is very difficult, and the family is always waiting for assistance. She said she is worried about the future of her three children.
 

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