The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Dark shadow of COVID-19 over women business in Herat

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By: Atefa Alizadah

KABUL: Women business have been expected to thrive by each passing day in Herat province, but up to 95 percent of women have lost their works during shutdown amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic in the western province, according to a research. Maryam Jami-ul-Ahmadi, Chairwoman of Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries said that she had lost 70 to 75 percent of her capital during the lockdown, following the spread of the novel COVID-19, the research quoted. She said their primary materials have either remained unused or spoiled due to long shutdown. The survey has been launched in both provincial capital city and the districts of Herat province, interviewing businesswomen.

“Businesswomen who earned money from their products’ purchase during winter, were made to pay a one month salary of their workers and complete the expenditures,” she said adding primary and raw materials including tomato paste, souse, pickles and foodstuffs which, all remained unsold. According to her, each woman has lost 70 to 75 percent of her capital following the virus outbreak. Ms. Jami-ul-Ahmadi said that women needed enough funds in order women could stand on their feet and recover their losses.

“Handicrafts, such as tailoring, needlework, embroidery and weaving which had good incomes before the pandemic, has now no costumers,” the research quoted. Women entreasures with business inside the city have dismissed 20 to 30 percent of their employees. “Safia who was running a restaurant with 12 workers has now stayed home,” according to the survey. “I took some cash as a loan and pay two months’ rent of the restaurant but couldn’t pay the remaining one month and the owner constantly calls and asks me for the rent,” she told the survey adding there was shutdown in the city and the municipality doesn’t allow us to open our food-house, we are facing much problems.” Farida Mahyar, another trade-woman who works within a private company supplying dairy for halls, schools and restaurants said she had to discharge five of her workers, but continue with the remaining two with 50 percent payment. “After coronavirus, we have to start from zero, by hiring more workers.

Our asset suffered damage badly,” she added. According to the Women Chamber of Commerce and Industries, during the lockdown, they wanted to tailor face-masks and gloves to continue with new way, but lack market forced them to distribute among the people free. The COVID-19 not only in Afghanistan, but also imposed heavy blow to world economy and according to economic experts, the post-COVID-19 would be too hard to stand on its feet. But the international community’s fund to Afghanistan was managed well then the situation could be brought under control. The government has to launch a survey to determine what is needed and it should to assist these sources to stand on their feet and the situation turn normal and the offer and demand turn to their previous balance.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.