In Afghanistan where women and girls have been banned from education and jobs at non-governmental organizations, many have turned to laborious professions such as carpet weaving in a bid to earn a living and maintain their mental well-being.
Taliban’s restrictive policies, however, have now extended to closing down these workshops as a number of Herat residents explained. One such carpet weaving workshop in western Herat province, with 30 female students, recently fell victim to the Taliban’s actions.
The closure has left these women in a state of despair, as they relied on carpet weaving not only to earn a living but also to ward off depression.
Hajar Saghari, the workshop’s head, expressed her disappointment, revealing that 30 students used to work alongside her.
Now, some of them have been forced to stay at home, all with a sense of hopelessness, while others have resorted to other forms of work, such as sewing.
According to officials at the Women’s Chamber of Commerce in the Western Region, Herat alone has 30 officially registered carpet weaving workshops, with an additional 500 operating unofficially.
These workshops provided women with a source of income so they could support their families.
The closure of these workshops highlights the dire situation faced by women in Afghanistan, particularly in terms of education.
It has been more than 620 days since the Taliban closed schools for girls above Grade 6, despite repeated calls from numerous international organizations, including the United Nations, and foreign governments, for schools to be reopened. However, the Taliban’s acting education minister Habibullah Agha recently stated that the current conditions are suitable for girls to get an education.