The Kabul Times.
Economic Social

COVID-19 restrictions and its consequences on Afghan businesswomen

By: Shukria Kohistani

KABUL: A research shows that in recent one year, tens of Afghan businesswomen, investors and industrialists have lost their businesses in Afghanistan due to insecurity, lack of access to market, financial challenges and corona outbreak restrictions.
The officials of Afghan Women’s Chambers of Commerce and Industries say that in recent year challenges against Afghan businesswomen have doubled and large parts of women’s investments have stopped and stagnated.
Addressing the media, director of Trade Resources center of AWCCI Sayeda Faqirzada said: “In recent year, out of 2741 Afghan businesswomen, investment or businesses of most of them have been stagnated. Acceding to the result of a research, 6 percent of these businesswomen that included 160 women have completely lost their work while another number have been resisting to continue their businesses despite of potential obstacles.”
She said: “In the wake of collapse of Taliban regime in 2001 and establishment of new administration in Afghanistan, efforts were made to include women in investment, economic activities and labor market but during this period due to insecurity, violence and socio-cultural challenges, the businesswomen have been facing numerous problems and beside that ambiguity of peace talks with Taliban has been one of basic and major challenges before the women’s businesses that have strongly concerned them and a kind of anxiety has been created among women activities.”
The Afghan women activities have always emphasized that women situation would not reversed to 20 years ago and their achievement would be preserved. While during the Taliban rule (1995-2001), women were not allowed to get out of home or be involve in economic activities.
Increasing insecurities, violences and purposeful murders have increased recently and have inflicted big damages to business and investment, specially to women activities and doubled their problems.
Due to challenges a number of those women have left the country and established their investment abroad.
Faqirzadah added: “It is a strong blow on our economy and the research result show that women in most provinces have no direct access to market and their products are purchased by men in low prices and then supplied to bazaar in higher prices.”
“As businesswomen lack essential Knowledge on marketing due to education restrictions, most women don’t know that their products have good market out of their villages, other provinces and even out of the country. So they should not supply their product in slight prices.”
Beside other challenges, there are no sufficient industrial estates… for women and the government also doesn’t support private sector specially women and lacks encouraging programs, she said.
These officials say that businesswomen are suffering of an unequalled competitions with men.
The AWCCI has recently presented a new plan to the government on establishment of particular markets for women to facilities women access to industrial estate and marketing.

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The Kabul Times.