Afghan Women Go Against the Taliban’s Rules by Starting Secret Businesses

Afghan Women Go Against the Taliban's Rules by Starting Secret Businesses

After the Taliban took over Afghan, women were forced to either close their businesses or run them in secret to avoid breaking the group’s strict rules.

Laila Haidari used to own a well-known restaurant in Kabul. She now finds herself in this situation. The rise of the Taliban caused her restaurant to be destroyed and her drug rehab center to close. She didn’t let that stop her, and now she runs a secret craft center where women can make money by sewing complicated dresses and making jewelry out of melted bullet shells.

Haidari’s project is just one of many secret businesses that women have started since the Taliban came back to power. There are clubs, beauty shops, and schools for girls that are run in secret.

The Taliban’s bans in Afghan and the drive to start a business

The Taliban have stopped most women from working and kept girls from going to middle school and high school. Along with this, they have made it hard for women to move around, including making it a law that women must travel with a male escort.

Because of these rules, it has become much harder for women to run businesses. The need to drive to get materials, meet clients, and sell items doesn’t fit with the rules that are in place.

Afghan Women Go Against the Taliban's Rules by Starting Secret Businesses

Still, many women keep going because of how strong they are. They know how important it is for their businesses to help them support their families, and they also want to help other women get started.

Laila Haidari says, “I don’t want Afghan girls to forget what they know, because then we’ll have another group of people who can’t read or write in a few years.”

Aid organizations in Afghan ask for help

Aid groups are helping women who want to start their own businesses, but they say that more coordinated efforts are needed. Their request to the Taliban is that they stop putting limits on women’s jobs and let them fully take part in the economy.

Melissa Cornet, a consultant for CARE Afghanistan, says this about the economy: “We tell them that if we create work, these women can feed their families and pay taxes. The economic point is very important to the Taliban.”

Trying to Figure Out an Uncertain Future

Even though the future of women’s business ownership in Afghan is still unclear, the present group of women business owners are still determined to succeed. Their efforts show how determined Afghan women are to work and make a better life for themselves and their families.