In northern Jawzjan province, several women and girls, barred from schools and universities, have started online businesses as a coping mechanism. They are selling health and cosmetic products imported from Iran.
Fereshte Amani, a 24-year-old former student and employee at a foreign institution in Jawzjan, has been running her online business for six months. The Taliban’s restrictions on work and education left her with no choice but to stay at home. “Since schools and universities have been closed, we have been depressed and suffering from unemployment,” Amani said. “We wanted to start online business.”
However, these entrepreneurs face challenges, including a limited market for their products. “The Taliban closed schools and universities, and as the economy worsens, our sales have decreased,” said Raqiba, another online business owner.
Raihana, who also runs a small online business, expressed a collective desire for educational access. “Our request to the government is to reopen schools and universities. We have been behind in our lessons for about two years and want to return to our classes,” she said.
Following the Taliban’s imposition of educational and employment restrictions on women, many in Jawzjan have resorted to handicrafts, working in cotton fields, and online businesses as alternative sources of income and occupation.