Deaf residents in Jawzjan await unpaid wages for two years

Deaf individuals in northern Afghanistan’s Jawzjan province have reported not receiving their annual salaries for the past two years, since the Taliban’s return to power.

Members of the deaf community, who were previously compensated under the republic government, claim that the Taliban has withheld their wages, instead insisting that they should work, a challenge given their communication barriers.

Fatima, a resident of Jawzjan, who lost her father in the past two decades of conflict, lives with her mother and six sisters, including another deaf sibling. “We’re struggling significantly. Under the republic, we received around 60,000 Afghanis annually, but now, the Martyrs and Disabled Directorate has stopped these payments,” she said.

Bismillah Rahimi, another deaf resident, echoed these concerns. “Despite appeals to the Taliban, including the heads of the martyrs and disabled departments, we’ve been told to work, which is difficult for us,” Rahimi stated.

Zabihullah Kahraman, head of the local Deaf People’s Association, urged the Taliban to consider their plight. “The Taliban should recognize our rights as the previous government did,” Kahraman said.

The association reports over 300 deaf individuals in Jawzjan, including 20% children, 35% women, and 45% men. They claim their previously guaranteed annual salary of 60,000 Afghanis ($858) for each person has been withheld for nearly three years under the current regime.