KABUL: Taliban authorities have slashed the salaries of women government workers who have been forced to stay at home since they seized power, the finance ministry said on Monday.

After kicking out the foreign-backed government in 2021, the Taliban government stopped most women employed in the public sector from attending their offices while continuing to pay them.

“Women who are at home and do not go to the office... their salaries are 5,000 Afghanis ($70) a month,” Ahmad Wali Haqmal, the finance ministry spokesman, told AFP.

Women who are permitted to work in segregated areas such as in government hospitals or schools would continue to get paid a salary according to their position.

Women had previously earned up to around 35,000 Afghanis in the public sector, including university professors forced off campus.

Administrative roles in ministries could pay around 20,000 Afghanis, although this was reduced for many to around 15,000 after the Taliban seized power.

A 25-year-old woman, who asked not to be identified for security reasons and who has worked for the Information and Culture department outside Kabul since early 2021, said her salary has dropped from 10,000 Afghanis.

“Making women stay at home is already a very big problem for us -- we are in a very bad mental and psychological condition -- and now that our salaries have decreased, this has only worsened,” she said. She uses her salary to support the seven members of her family, including her sick mother, but said it would barely last her two weeks.

The salary change came into effect in July and is estimated to affect tens of thousands of women who work in the public sector, the finance ministry spokesman said.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2024

Opinion

Editorial

Misery and despair
Updated 12 Jul, 2024

Misery and despair

Is a life lived happily and respectably too much to ask for from your country?
Temporary extension
12 Jul, 2024

Temporary extension

THE cabinet’s decision to allow ‘legal’ Afghan refugees — meaning those with Proof of Registration cards —...
Anti-smog strategy
12 Jul, 2024

Anti-smog strategy

BY acknowledging that smog is a year-round problem, and not just a winter issue, the Punjab government has taken the...
Population crisis
Updated 11 Jul, 2024

Population crisis

Moreover, successful programmes, such as Lady Health Workers, can be utilised to provide information and reproductive health services to women.
Taxing agriculture
11 Jul, 2024

Taxing agriculture

OUR inability to collect sufficient tax revenue is resulting in persistently high fiscal deficits, forcing ...
Negligence at PHOTA
11 Jul, 2024

Negligence at PHOTA

THE impression that the state is being careless towards aspects of organ trade control is damaging. Recent news ...