Afghanistan’s war widows desperate demand for work

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Women who lost their husbands in the war in the Southern Helmand Province desperately ask the interim government of Afghanistan to provide them with work.

The prolonged war in Afghanistan took the lives of scores of innocent civilians including men, women, and children across the country. Thousands of women lost their daily bread earners in either fighting against the insurgent groups or standing against the previous regime. The consequences of the never-ending war have adversely affected the lives of every segment of society, women, and girls in particular.

“In the absence of my husband, I have to work and support my family. I have five children, and I would do every possible work to feed my family before they die from hunger and poverty. The current government should pay serious attention to the living conditions of the war widows because they have no other alternative to look for,” said a local Helmand resident.

Despite the flowing humanitarian aid since the overthrow of the previous regime last August, the economic situation in Afghanistan is worsening. Foreign-based organizations ceased operations. Similarly, public and private businesses have shrunk due to regime change and uncertain political conditions, leading to a massive unemployment rate.

Over the past years, certain women supported their families through handicrafts, however, due to the recent political changes, the handicraft business has declined with low demand for the product.

Meanwhile, local officials in Helmand promised that they will provide work for war widows. “We will create jobs for unemployed people ignoring their gender or situation,” said Mohammad Qasim Riyaz, deputy head of the Information and Culture Department of Helmand.—KP