The Kabul Times.
Politics

Concerns of Afghan women entrepreneurs as US troop withdrawal underway

By: Shukria Kohistani

Afghan women entrepreneurs by expressing concern over full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan say with full US troop withdrawal from the country, they are afraid to lose their trade in the country. Bamyan is among Afghan provinces which has most of the country’s women entrepreneurs operating in the province.
Women entrepreneurs in the province are concerning over full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, saying that they might lose the current open environment for trade and business in the country.
A large number of Afghan women have made use of opportunities provided during the past 20 years to launch small and big entrepreneurships to empower their economic condition.
“Nearly 11 years back, I started trade activities in handicapped industries in the country,” said Masouma Ibrahimi, a mother of four and one of hundreds of women entrepreneurs in Bamyan.
Besides that Masouma is making a living for her family, she has provided employment opportunities for 50 other women in the province.
“I’ve fought various challenges and anti-women visions in the country, but I might lose all these efforts and struggles with full US and NATO troops withdrawal from Afghanistan,” Masouma stressed, saying that her achievements should not be lost.
She said that concerns have increased among Afghan women thinking they would lose all their achievements in case peace was not maintained in the country, adding that she was not ready to lose the opportunity provided for her and her family.
Mrs. Ibrahimi further said that Afghan women have changed now comparing to 20 years ago, stressing that they would not let to be deprived from their rights.
After Taliban regime was topped in 2001, various opportunities were provided for Afghan women. Since 2001, Afghan women have reached lots of achievements as opportunities have been provided for the women in all social, political and economic fields in the country.
Currently, a large number of Afghan women including the 19-year old Sabira are engaged in producing and selling handicrafts in Bamyan city.
Sabira says it is determined that all US and NATO troops will leave Afghanistan by September, which is concerning.
She further said that full US troop withdrawal from Afghanistan and ambiguity in ongoing peace talks between Afghanistan government and Taliban were considered as two elements of increasing concern among Afghan women in the country.
Bamyan women entrepreneurs including Masouma and Sabira are asking the international community to make sure they’re committed to continued presence and support to Afghanistan.
Although US and NATO member countries are committed to continued cooperation with the people and government of Afghanistan, but Afghan women are still afraid of possible bitter experiences they had during the Taliban regime.

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The Kabul Times.