Taliban reduces salaries of female public servants confined to their homes to $70

A schoolteacher in Kandahar province. File Photo

KABUL, Afghanistan — Taliban has reduced monthly salaries of female public servants, who have been ordered to stay at home, to 5,000 Afghanis ($70).

According to a statement from the Taliban-run finance ministry, this salary adjustment affects all female civil servants, including schoolteachers, who are confined at home. The change took effect on June 13.

Female civil servants who continue to work will receive their regular salaries. However, many of these women have expressed frustration and anger at the Taliban’s decision, criticizing it as a double blow: first being forced out of their jobs and now facing significant pay cuts.

The Taliban’s revised policy states that actively employed female workers who do not attend their jobs regularly or fail to perform their duties as per their job description will have their monthly salaries and benefits capped at 5,000 Afghanis.

“With the arrival of the new government [Taliban], I was confined at home, and now my salary is set at five thousand Afghanis. This is a significant blow to those who, like me, are the breadwinners of their families,” said Marwa, a former government employee.

“Our salaries have been reduced to 5,000 Afghanis. We are facing significant economic problems. I don’t want to stay at home; I want to work, take responsibility for my family, and help them,” said Shiwa, another civil servant.

The reduction in salaries has raised alarm among female civil servants who are already struggling with dire economic conditions. The new salary policy underscores the severe restrictions and economic challenges that female public servants face under the Taliban’s rule.

Following the closure of schools beyond grade six by the Taliban, Zahra was forced to sit at home. With tears in her eyes, Zahra argued that the reduction of her salary means less food on her family’s table. Zahra, who has taught religious subjects to girls in grades 7 to 12 in Herat for 14 years, says that she faces an uncertain future due to the drastic pay cut.

“I was a teacher, teaching from grade seven to twelve. They closed the seventh grade, confined us at home, and told us to stay at home and we would receive our salaries,” she said. “Our salaries were reduced to 5,000 Afghanis. What should we do with this 5,000? My husband is also unemployed. I don’t know how to use 5,000 Afghanis for household expenses and my children’s education.”

According to official statistics provided by the Taliban, 352,000 women are currently working in the education, health, and civil services sectors, with 200,000 of them working only in education. The decree from Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada has caused a reduction in the salaries of the vast majority of female employees as the Taliban confines women to their homes.