The United States estimates that the economy of Afghanistan it loses a billion dollars by not letting women work and participate in public life. This was stated today by the Secretary of State of the North American country, Antony Blinken, who stressed that the censorship of women by the Taliban goes against the country’s own interests.
“When women are excluded from the workforce, societies lose talent, they lose productivity because half the population is being excluded. Today, women could contribute a billion dollars to the economy of Afghanistanif only they were allowed“, indicated the American official, who today presented an economic initiative to help the women of the Asian country.
“They could provide a lifeline for families facing poverty, they could help create more stable and resilient communities at a time when they are desperately needed in Afghanistan”, continued the person in charge of Washington diplomacy.
The initiative, in which Boston University, an American technology firm and the consulting firm Deloitte participate, seeks remotely advising the women of the impoverished country about different career options by providing education and helping those with small businesses.
Afghanistan It is one of the poorest countries in the world and, before the arrival of the Taliban to power in August 2021 and the departure of the international community, a large part of its funds derived from foreign aid, which has been cut since last year.
Without being able to recover financially, most of the country sinks into extreme poverty and countless stories come from Central Asia about the drastic measures families take to survive.
Bread, work and freedom
Between 1996 and 2001, the period of the first Taliban regime in Afghanistan, women were swept out of public life: they were no longer allowed to study or work. In the 20 years that followed, after the international invasion and occupation led by the United States, women gained these freedoms, something that was seen, above all, in the urban areas of the country.
When the Taliban again forcibly took over the Afghan state in August last year, women once again saw their rights trampled on, even though radical Islamists had said they would respect them. To this day, secondary schools for girls continue to be closed and the presence of women in almost all work environments has been limited.
In this context, Afghan women took to the streets on several occasions to demand “bread, work and freedom” from the Taliban regime, but they were always repressed and their demands were not heard. Throughout the country, there are experiments in resistance, such as clandestine secondary classes in primary schools or libraries hidden in basements. However, many Afghan women feel abandoned by the international community that left them at the mercy of “gender apartheid”.