Afghan women share what their lives are really like under the Taliban

BBC News

A 16 year old girl adjusts the curtains of a window in a house in Charikar, Afghanistan

Reporting by Aakriti Thapar, Mahfouz Zubaide and Andrew Clarance

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Summary

  1. Women from across Afghanistan have been telling us about their daily lives under Taliban rule
  2. A dressmaker, a teacher, a karate trainer, an audiobook narrator, a religious school teacher and a one-time national team golfer are among those we’ll hear from today
  3. Since seizing power in 2021, the ultra-conservative rulers have restricted women’s lives, closing most secondary schools to girls
  4. Women have been banned from going to university, stopped from entering parks and gyms and must observe strict dress codes
  5. About half the population face acute hunger and 97% are in poverty but in December the Taliban also banned female aid workers from doing their jobs
  6. The Taliban tell the BBC they will not lift the ban on female aid workers, despite the worse winter in a decade leaving at least 124 people dead

Live Reporting

Edited by Alexandra Fouché

  1. Posted at 14:0114:01’I used to be able to study but tonight I will watch Breaking Bad’Laptop and headsetSuppliedCopyright: SuppliedIt is 17:30 in Kabul now, and we can bring you another woman’s account of her experiences under the new government.An audiobook narrator tells us about what her evening looks like now compared to what it used to.Quote Message: From 18:00-19:00 first of course we’ll have dinner with the household and I go to my room directly and open my laptop and watch some series or movies I have on Netflix. I will watch Breaking Bad tonight.From 18:00-19:00 first of course we’ll have dinner with the household and I go to my room directly and open my laptop and watch some series or movies I have on Netflix. I will watch Breaking Bad tonight.Quote Message: I am not satisfied with my current situation because I used to be able to go out and study, but now I am completely at home and unemployed.I am not satisfied with my current situation because I used to be able to go out and study, but now I am completely at home and unemployed.Quote Message: There have been many changes since the arrival of the Taliban until today. I have been thinking about the past days, the days when I was with my friends and we were all busy studying to succeed and get a good grade in the entrance examination.There have been many changes since the arrival of the Taliban until today. I have been thinking about the past days, the days when I was with my friends and we were all busy studying to succeed and get a good grade in the entrance examination.Quote Message: I wish we could study again and continue our past activities that we used to do with great enthusiasm.”I wish we could study again and continue our past activities that we used to do with great enthusiasm.”Article share tools
  2. Posted at 13:5313:53Positives and negatives of life in Afghanistan – religious school teacherWe heard earlier from Omaro-Taha, a teacher at a madrassa (religious school), who unlike most of the women we’re hearing from, says she feels freer under the Taliban. She sent us this update:Quote Message: I want to mention about some positive and negative issues. Positive things are: classes are separated for both the genders (males and females), which is more helpful for setting the atmosphere for getting education for females. Second issue is the observance of the Sharia Hejab (veil) which is key, an important and fundamental issue for organisations and government. There should some more positive things for people as well, but the important ones are these two.I want to mention about some positive and negative issues. Positive things are: classes are separated for both the genders (males and females), which is more helpful for setting the atmosphere for getting education for females. Second issue is the observance of the Sharia Hejab (veil) which is key, an important and fundamental issue for organisations and government. There should some more positive things for people as well, but the important ones are these two.Quote Message: Beside the positive impacts, there are some negative impacts as well. The decrease in economical status of people, unemployment, closure of factories and the migration of our people to other countries because of having no job. These issues have impacts on morale of the people. But I am hopeful that all these issues will be solved. We are hopeful and waiting for resolving this.”Beside the positive impacts, there are some negative impacts as well. The decrease in economical status of people, unemployment, closure of factories and the migration of our people to other countries because of having no job. These issues have impacts on morale of the people. But I am hopeful that all these issues will be solved. We are hopeful and waiting for resolving this.”Article share tools
  3. Posted at 13:3113:31Why are female aid workers banned?One of the women speaking to us is an aid worker, and as she mentioned, back in early December, the Taliban issued an order banning women from working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs).They justified the move by saying female NGO staff had broken dress codes by not wearing hijabs (veils).It has been seen as a risk to urgent life-saving humanitarian operations in the country, as well as a violation of the rights of women.Under the Taliban, contact between women and men outside their immediate families is limited, so women are needed as aid workers and medical professionals to deliver essential services to other women.As our correspondent Lyse Doucet reports, there seems to be some movement.Within the Taliban system, some officials understand the gravity of these new rules.The health ministry has now clarified that women can work in the health sector where female doctors and nurses are absolutely essential. That’s triggered the resumption of some vital health programmes.And the International Rescue Committee in Kabul told the BBC it was “taking a pragmatic approach, working with Taliban officials sector by sector”.Article share tools
  4. Posted at 13:1613:16Women across Afghanistan share their stories with usToday, we are hearing from women living across Afghanistan, as they share with us how their lives have changed since the Taliban took over as the de facto government.They have all been sending us voice notes and messages, which detail key elements of their day-to-day routines and give vivid descriptions of how their lives have changed.Many have chosen to remain anonymous to protect their identity.So far, we’ve heard from a psychologist, a teacher at a religious school, a dressmaker, an artist, karate trainer and a former police officer as well as an author and an aid worker – who are based across the country.We’re also hearing from the BBC’s chief international correspondent, Lyse Doucet, who is reporting from the country’s capital – Kabul. You can follow more of our coverage on Afghan women’s hidden lives under the Taliban across BBC output.Article share tools
  5. Posted at 13:0013:00’Now I really miss the happiness we had’ – aid workerThe aid worker has just sent us this update about her day and how it is different from when the Taliban were not in power.Quote Message: Before 15 August [when the Taliban took over], I would be at the office or doing field work at this time, and when we wanted to leave the office after 16:00, we’d walk from our office to our houses.Before 15 August [when the Taliban took over], I would be at the office or doing field work at this time, and when we wanted to leave the office after 16:00, we’d walk from our office to our houses.Quote Message: It was a 30- to 40-minute walk from the office to our home, and we were enjoying the time walking and talking on our way; we would stop at cafes and restaurants to have some fun and take a break. Now I really miss the happiness we had; I even miss the boredom I had after my arrival at home.It was a 30- to 40-minute walk from the office to our home, and we were enjoying the time walking and talking on our way; we would stop at cafes and restaurants to have some fun and take a break. Now I really miss the happiness we had; I even miss the boredom I had after my arrival at home.Quote Message: Now I get tired of not doing anything at all during the day. I can’t even go outside with a peaceful mind. Before the ban on women’s work, we would leave the office at 16:00 and drive directly home. I didn’t want to face them, so I would try to get home as soon as possible. I have no hope for my future; we are banned from doing anything but staying home and getting depressed day by day.”Now I get tired of not doing anything at all during the day. I can’t even go outside with a peaceful mind. Before the ban on women’s work, we would leave the office at 16:00 and drive directly home. I didn’t want to face them, so I would try to get home as soon as possible. I have no hope for my future; we are banned from doing anything but staying home and getting depressed day by day.”Article share tools
  6. Posted at 12:4112:41Aid worker who can no longer help those in needAid workerSuppliedCopyright: SuppliedWomen from all walks of life have been affected since the Taliban takeover, including one aid worker from one of the poorest and most remote regions of the country. She says she’s been unable to carry out her work since restrictions were imposed on female aid workers and says it breaks her heart every time someone asks her when they will start getting aid againQuote Message: We met different people; we would speak with women, men, children, and old people. We would ask about their problems and needs, and then we report their problems and voices to our offices. Our office was trying really hard to help them all. I was feeling glad and great to help my people.We met different people; we would speak with women, men, children, and old people. We would ask about their problems and needs, and then we report their problems and voices to our offices. Our office was trying really hard to help them all. I was feeling glad and great to help my people.Quote Message: The salary that I was receiving monthly from our office would help me to support my family and my sisters’ and brothers’ education. But now that we are all at home, have lost our jobs, and are not able to go out alone or without mahram (male guardian), we should have someone from our family go out with us, like our father, brother, or husband.The salary that I was receiving monthly from our office would help me to support my family and my sisters’ and brothers’ education. But now that we are all at home, have lost our jobs, and are not able to go out alone or without mahram (male guardian), we should have someone from our family go out with us, like our father, brother, or husband.Quote Message: I wanted to study and get a masters, but now all my dreams are broken. We are just alive without hope. Now I spend most of my time at home. I watch films, videos on social media and Tv programmes to pass time.I wanted to study and get a masters, but now all my dreams are broken. We are just alive without hope. Now I spend most of my time at home. I watch films, videos on social media and Tv programmes to pass time.Quote Message: I’ve had several run-ins with the Taliban; whenever I go out, they stop me at checkpoints and tell me to wear a hijab and cover my face and hair. Though I have a proper hijab, they would still stop you and order you to wear your hijab properly.”I’ve had several run-ins with the Taliban; whenever I go out, they stop me at checkpoints and tell me to wear a hijab and cover my face and hair. Though I have a proper hijab, they would still stop you and order you to wear your hijab properly.”Article share tools
  7. Posted at 12:2012:20’Men must stand up for women’ – Afghan professorYalda HakimReporting from KabulProf Ismail MashalBBCCopyright: BBCProf Ismail Mashal, who runs a private university in Kabul, says he has had enough of the restrictions women face in Afghanistan.”I call on fathers to take the hands of their daughters and walk them to school, even if the gates are shut.”Slender and well dressed, he is a mixture of defiance and raw emotion.”Even if they’re not allowed in – they should do this daily. It’s the least they can do to prove they are men,” he tells me, holding back tears.”This is not me being emotional – this is pain. Men must stand up and defend the rights of Afghan women and girls.”In December, the Taliban government announced female students at universities would no longer be allowed back – until further notice.They said they were doing this to enable them to create an Islamic learning environment aligned with Sharia law practices, including changes to the curriculum.Not long after the ban was announced, Prof Mashal went viral on social media after tearing up his academic records live on television, saying there was no point in gaining an education in today’s Afghanistan.He says he won’t stay silent.Read the full piece here.Article share tools
  8. Posted at 12:0412:04In pictures: A look at daily life in KabulEveryday life for residents in Kabul looks very different since the Taliban took over in May 2021.The BBC worked with a female photographer to capture the changes on the street.Two women in Kabul walking alongside a car with male passengersNava JamshidiCopyright: Nava JamshidiMany women already wore the burka or face veils, but the Taliban tightened their rules on face coveringsImage caption: Many women already wore the burka or face veils, but the Taliban tightened their rules on face coveringsMen in Kabul stand around a fire on the streetNava JamshidiCopyright: Nava JamshidiWomen have been banned from many public places in AfghanistanImage caption: Women have been banned from many public places in AfghanistanTwo women wearing face coverings in KabulNava JamshidiCopyright: Nava JamshidiThe Taliban have introduced more hardline measures for women since taking overImage caption: The Taliban have introduced more hardline measures for women since taking overA woman in Kabul wearing a white face veilNava JamshidiCopyright: Nava JamshidiAny woman repeatedly not complying with wearing a face veil in public could see their male relative jailed or sent to courtImage caption: Any woman repeatedly not complying with wearing a face veil in public could see their male relative jailed or sent to courtA woman wearing a head covering walks with her child in KabulNava JamshidiCopyright: Nava JamshidiIn cities like Kabul, some women cover their hair with a scarf, with some relatively recently adding a Covid-style face mask tooImage caption: In cities like Kabul, some women cover their hair with a scarf, with some relatively recently adding a Covid-style face mask tooArticle share tools
  9. Posted at 11:3811:38’What about tomorrow?’ – author finds hope in readingThe authorSuppliedCopyright: SuppliedThe next woman who has been in touch with us is an author. She describes her heartbreak when her life changed under the Taliban – but says she has found solace in books, and sharing them with other women:Quote Message: I cried for myself, my sisters and for our unknown future; but is there any point in shedding tears? But after half an hour I decided to be strong and give strength myself and to the rest of my sisters. I wrote on my Facebook page and in my Instagram story: ‘I decided to read a book tomorrow one page more than today, watch a movie a day, listen to a podcast a day, read an English book one page a day, dance for five minutes a day and exercise for half an hour a day.’ What did you decide for tomorrow?I cried for myself, my sisters and for our unknown future; but is there any point in shedding tears? But after half an hour I decided to be strong and give strength myself and to the rest of my sisters. I wrote on my Facebook page and in my Instagram story: ‘I decided to read a book tomorrow one page more than today, watch a movie a day, listen to a podcast a day, read an English book one page a day, dance for five minutes a day and exercise for half an hour a day.’ What did you decide for tomorrow?Quote Message: In this new division of my time, I could work more at home, write more, read more, create reading groups, exercise, cook, and finally dance. This was the list of things that I could not do while going to the office; but now I can easily do all these tasks according to the daily schedule. I am always relaxed by reading and writing.In this new division of my time, I could work more at home, write more, read more, create reading groups, exercise, cook, and finally dance. This was the list of things that I could not do while going to the office; but now I can easily do all these tasks according to the daily schedule. I am always relaxed by reading and writing.Quote Message: I have a library on Telegram which I have uploaded more than a thousand books on this channel and made available to all readers to read and enjoy. Three weeks ago, I received a message from one of my friends who wrote: Can you lead a reading group with more than 50 girls for a while? This message was one of the best messages for me at this time and now I have been leading the reading group for three weeks.I have a library on Telegram which I have uploaded more than a thousand books on this channel and made available to all readers to read and enjoy. Three weeks ago, I received a message from one of my friends who wrote: Can you lead a reading group with more than 50 girls for a while? This message was one of the best messages for me at this time and now I have been leading the reading group for three weeks.Quote Message: I am trying to keep myself busy and not to think about what I have lost, it’s really hard for me to handle this but I will keep trying.”I am trying to keep myself busy and not to think about what I have lost, it’s really hard for me to handle this but I will keep trying.”Article share tools
  10. AnalysisPosted at 11:1911:19Women living in Afghanistan need to be heardLyse DoucetReporting from KabulIt is a truism of our time that people can and should speak for themselves.No need to give voice to the voiceless; voices just need to be heard.But in Afghanistan, women’s voices are being silenced, and in some places entirely snuffed out, as women and girls are pushed out of public places and into their homes by new Taliban government edicts.There are no female parliamentarians; parliament itself has been shut.Music is mostly banned, most of all women’s song. Some female journalists still work but there are far fewer.Small groups of Afghan women boldly take to the streets, but protests are quickly dispersed. The most prominent activists sometimes disappear into detention.But in our time, it’s hard to completely shut issues down. Afghan women who fled their country use platforms far away to urge the world to act.There’s a buzz of anguish and advocacy across social media. But women living in Afghanistan need to be heard, most of all, by Taliban leaders now in charge.And it’s clear the most conservative among them still aren’t ready to listen.Article share tools
  11. Posted at 11:0311:03Afghan women’s lives – in their own wordsIf you’re just joining us – we’re doing things a bit differently in this live page. Since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in 2021, women’s lives have changed fundamentally. Today they are telling us how, in their own words.Stay with us as Afghan women share updates as they go about their daily lives under rules set by the ultra conservative government.Article share tools
  12. Posted at 11:0311:03’I dreamt to be a heroine but I am a house girl now’Shukria Hujjat's medalsShukria HujjatCopyright: Shukria HujjatShukria Hujjat now, a karate trainer, has been in touch with us. She has a black belt in karate and a haul of medals to her name. But her day looks totally different to the way it would have been. She’s sent us these updates:Quote Message: It is 14:00 (09:30 GMT) now and I want to talk about my routine from 14:00 to 16:00 before the fall of Afghanistan. I used to leave the educational training centre at 14:00, and then I went to a high school. It was a private school and I also used to help the orphan and poor children. There were fatherless and motherless children and some of the poor families sent their daughters to at least have something for eating and wearing.It is 14:00 (09:30 GMT) now and I want to talk about my routine from 14:00 to 16:00 before the fall of Afghanistan. I used to leave the educational training centre at 14:00, and then I went to a high school. It was a private school and I also used to help the orphan and poor children. There were fatherless and motherless children and some of the poor families sent their daughters to at least have something for eating and wearing.Quote Message: The government distributed food and clothes for them and also they were taught different subjects including the Quran, calligraphy, painting, tailoring and sports. I was sports teacher, my youngest student was eight years old and the oldest was a 36-year-old woman… some of them were 56 and 70 years old.The government distributed food and clothes for them and also they were taught different subjects including the Quran, calligraphy, painting, tailoring and sports. I was sports teacher, my youngest student was eight years old and the oldest was a 36-year-old woman… some of them were 56 and 70 years old.Quote Message: Now, I go to the tailoring course from 14:00 to 16:00, I take fabric with myself, cut and sew it. Certainly, as the government changed and the rules changed, it also changed my life. I dreamt to be a heroine, but I am a house girl now. It is very difficult for me as I don’t go to my sports training center and instead I go to tailoring course.”Now, I go to the tailoring course from 14:00 to 16:00, I take fabric with myself, cut and sew it. Certainly, as the government changed and the rules changed, it also changed my life. I dreamt to be a heroine, but I am a house girl now. It is very difficult for me as I don’t go to my sports training center and instead I go to tailoring course.”Article share tools
  13. Posted at 10:2810:28’I paint to show the suffering of women and girls – and refuse to stop’The artistShabnam ArtCopyright: Shabnam ArtThis artwork, the painter raises the plight of Afghan girls who are deprived of education and forced to stay at homeImage caption: This artwork, the painter raises the plight of Afghan girls who are deprived of education and forced to stay at homeWe’ve had some messages in from a 23-year old artist in Kabul who used to teach women and girls how to paint and draw. But after the country fell to the Taliban, she was warned to stop painting, and to destroy all her artwork.But she is continuing to paint, despite the danger. She says she wants to give a voice to Afghan women and girls with her artwork.ArtworkShabnam ArtCopyright: Shabnam ArtIn this artwork, the painter depicts the silencing of girls’ voices and restricting education in the name of IslamImage caption: In this artwork, the painter depicts the silencing of girls’ voices and restricting education in the name of IslamArticle share tools
  14. Posted at 10:0010:00Female aid workers cannot work despite rising death toll – ministerLyse DoucetChief International Correspondent reporting from KabulAfghanistan’s acting minister of disaster management has told us that many areas of Afghanistan are now completely cut off by snow; military helicopters have been sent to the rescue, but they haven’t been able to land in the most mountainous regions.At least 124 people have died in freezing temperatures, according to the ministry. About 70,000 livestock have also perished.The acting minister, Mullah Mohammad Abbas Akhund, says the forecast for the next 10 days indicate that temperatures will warm. But he is still worried about a rising death toll – of Afghans, and their livestock.Winters are always harsh here in Afghanistan, but this is the worst weather in a decade.And this year’s relief operations are hampered by a Taliban government edict barring Afghan women from working in aid agencies.But Mullah Akhund is categorical. This edict cannot be lifted – the international community, he insisted, must accept Afghanistan’s Islamic culture.Meanwhile, aid officials, including the UN, are urgently trying to find ways to work around this ban.Article share tools
  15. Posted at 9:419:41‘I was worried whether I would survive on the way home’The police officer recalls the day the Taliban took over and says it is one she will never forget.Quote Message: I had gone to the bank, because people were talking a lot about the arrival of the Taliban, so that I could get some of my savings, which unfortunately I did not succeed in getting.I had gone to the bank, because people were talking a lot about the arrival of the Taliban, so that I could get some of my savings, which unfortunately I did not succeed in getting.Quote Message: I came out of the bank, I was wearing my normal everyday clothes, but people were behaving very differently. I was very scared, I was worried whether I would survive on the way home or not.I came out of the bank, I was wearing my normal everyday clothes, but people were behaving very differently. I was very scared, I was worried whether I would survive on the way home or not.Quote Message: Finally, despite many problems, I reached home. All my family were worried about me. I was in severe shock for 15 to 20 days. I was always in the corner of the room and had no news of the outside world.Finally, despite many problems, I reached home. All my family were worried about me. I was in severe shock for 15 to 20 days. I was always in the corner of the room and had no news of the outside world.Quote Message: Without being able to control myself, tears would flow from my eyes. I was worried about what would happen to my dreams. What will happen to my future.”Without being able to control myself, tears would flow from my eyes. I was worried about what would happen to my dreams. What will happen to my future.”Article share tools
  16. Posted at 9:099:09’I have nothing to do’ – former police officerUnnamed police officerSuppliedCopyright: SuppliedWe’re going to hear now from a former police officer who is also a student, who has been unable to do her job since the Taliban took over.Most women were told not to go to work after the Taliban swept back to power.The woman, who’s 23 and has chosen to stay anonymous, said prior to the takeover she would get up at 05:30, do some exercise, and then spend 30 to 40 minutes preparing to go to work.Quote Message: But now, unfortunately, I have nothing to do; I have no specific schedule and I would stay home all day because we are not allowed to go to work, university, or do any kind of activity.”But now, unfortunately, I have nothing to do; I have no specific schedule and I would stay home all day because we are not allowed to go to work, university, or do any kind of activity.”She used to arrive at her office at 08:00, put on her uniform and start working, but that’s no longer possible with the Taliban in power.Quote Message: We would have been busy helping and serving the people of our country. But, unfortunately, I can no longer do anything for myself.”We would have been busy helping and serving the people of our country. But, unfortunately, I can no longer do anything for myself.”Article share tools
  17. Posted at 8:568:56Tens of thousands not getting help due to ban – refugee councilWhile we bring you insights from the daily lives of women in Afghanistan, we’re also hearing from organisations who deliver aid in the country, which is facing freezing conditions and famine.They say they cannot perform this task following the Taliban’s new ban on female aid workers.The head of the UN aid organisation, Martin Griffiths, says “humanitarian aid cannot be delivered without women”.These thoughts are being echoed by Neil Turner, the Afghan country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council.Speaking to the BBC’s Newsday programme from Kabul he says: “We have been compelled to pause our operations because of the ban on our female colleagues working with us.”The situation is very difficult because we will not work without our female colleagues… Tens of thousands are not getting the assistance they need from us.”Social embed from twitter
  18. Posted at 8:398:39Women are literally being erased from public life, activist tells UNAccording to activists, women in Afghanistan are being erased from public life.Mahbouba Seraj, an Afghan human rights activist and the executive director of the Afghan Women Skills Development Center, told a UN Security Council meeting as much in December.“Women are literally being erased from public life, down to the beheading of female mannequins in shop windows,” she said.Martin Griffiths, the UN’s under-secretary general for humanitarian affairs, also gave an overview of the dire humanitarian situation at the time. He said:
    • 97% of Afghans live in poverty
    • Two-thirds of the population need humanitarian assistance
    • Around 20 million people face acute hunger
    • Half of the population”urgently” needs access to clean water and sanitation
    • Some 1.1 million teenage girls are banned from school
    • Nearly 7 million Afghan nationals remain in neighbouring countries
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  19. Posted at 8:098:09I feel more secure – religious teacher on how her life has changedWe now hear from Omaro-Taha, a teacher at a madrassa (religious school). She is also a first-year student in medical school. Unlike most of the women we’re hearing from, she says she feels freer under the Taliban.Quote Message: We are very happy about the security. It is very good now. We are happy for separation of study – environment. [Women] can feel free, and can study better than [in the] past. It is the part of our religion as well that there should be separate places for both genders.We are very happy about the security. It is very good now. We are happy for separation of study – environment. [Women] can feel free, and can study better than [in the] past. It is the part of our religion as well that there should be separate places for both genders.Teaching at a madrassaOmaro-TahaCopyright: Omaro-TahaQuote Message: I work as teacher in one of the madrassas and get salary. It helps me to support my family beside my father who works as shopkeeper.I work as teacher in one of the madrassas and get salary. It helps me to support my family beside my father who works as shopkeeper.Quote Message: The other thing that I like is the order about hijab (veil). According to our religion we need to be covered. It is much better for [women].”The other thing that I like is the order about hijab (veil). According to our religion we need to be covered. It is much better for [women].”Article share tools
  20. Posted at 7:447:44’I have nothing to do when I get up in the morning’The dressesSuppliedCopyright: SuppliedWe’re now going to hear from a dressmaker in Afghanistan who was known for her traditional and colourful designs. The woman, who is in her 30s, was the sole earner in her family and supported her husband and children before the Taliban told her to close her business.Here’s her story:Quote Message: I have nothing to do when I get up in the morning; I do my prayer, prepare breakfast and clean the house. My shop is closed; women are not allowed to work. My customers keep asking me why I have closed my shop, and I tell them that I can’t have my shop open but I can prepare your clothes in my house.”I have nothing to do when I get up in the morning; I do my prayer, prepare breakfast and clean the house. My shop is closed; women are not allowed to work. My customers keep asking me why I have closed my shop, and I tell them that I can’t have my shop open but I can prepare your clothes in my house.”Quote Message: I can’t have my entire shop in my house, however, because my house is small, and I only have a simple machine that I can use there. I can only sew simple clothes in my house, not wedding dresses or party dresses because I don’t have the equipment.”I can’t have my entire shop in my house, however, because my house is small, and I only have a simple machine that I can use there. I can only sew simple clothes in my house, not wedding dresses or party dresses because I don’t have the equipment.”Quote Message: “After the [Taliban] takeover, I had moved my shop from the market to a village. But even in the village they physically came and asked me to close my shop. I explained to them that I had a one-year contract with the owner and that I am the only breadwinner of the family. They said that they had orders from their leaders and that women are not allowed to work.””After the [Taliban] takeover, I had moved my shop from the market to a village. But even in the village they physically came and asked me to close my shop. I explained to them that I had a one-year contract with the owner and that I am the only breadwinner of the family. They said that they had orders from their leaders and that women are not allowed to work.

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