August 7, 2019

WINNING THE WoT:

No going back to Taliban repression, Afghan businesswomen say (Orooj Hakimi, 8/07/19, Reuters)

[T]he women who have blazed a trial in business since the Taliban were ousted in 2001 say they have come too far to be robbed of their achievements.

"I don't think Afghan women will ever go back," Kamila Seddiqi, 41, said an entrepreneur involved in businesses that include Afghanistan's first taxi app, Kaweyan Cabs.

Seddiqi, who was 18 when the Taliban seized Kabul in 1996, knows all too well how ambition can be smothered.

"It was a time when we all thought of studying and learning, and education was the most important thing for us, but our lives changed," she said.

The Taliban banned women from education and work and only let them leave their homes in the company of a male relative. Overnight, women disappeared behind the all-enveloping burqa, their activities restricted to their homes.

Seddiqi and her sisters started a small tailoring business that thrived. After the Taliban were ousted, she worked with international organizations before launching her own businesses.

The international aid effort that arrived with foreign forces put girls' education and the empowering of women at its core but there are fears a final withdrawal of U.S. troops, the winding down of international engagement and the re-emergence of the Taliban in politics will see the progress snuffed out.

But women's strides in business will not be reversed, Seddiqi said. "These are not women who will go back."

Posted by at August 7, 2019 12:00 AM

  

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