Kabul Tomorrow Unknown
Kandahar Tomorrow Sunny
Herat Tomorrow Unknown
Mazar-i-sharif Tomorrow Unknown
Ghazni Tomorrow Sunny
Jalalabad Tomorrow Sunny
Bamiyan Tomorrow Sunny
Zaranj Tomorrow Sunny
Mimana Tomorrow Sunny
The Killid Group
Tough on WomenWritten by Sayed Zaher Adeli
Saturday, 27 August 2011 12:32
Street sellers are ubiquitous in the Balkh capital city. Unlike many parts of Afghanistan including Kabul, there are women among the vendors on the streets of Mazar-e-Sharif.
Fouzia sells Burani on a push-cart. She says she has to work to be able to look after her family. Her husband died many years ago, leaving her a widow with children. "I have four daughters and a son," she says. "My son is 12 years old and he sells plastic bags. We have to work, to survive."
According to her, she makes between 100 and 150 Afs (roughly 2 to 3 USD) every day. Most of her customers are children.
How does she makes ends meet for such a large family? "We have to tolerate this situation," she replies. "If I had not been forced by circumstances, how would I have been able to tolerate life as a street seller on such a hot day!"
Sabera, a woman who sells old clothes on a street corner, lashes out at the government for not improving the lives of the poor and helpless. She is caustic about the Department of Women's Affairs and non-governmental groups. "They are telling lies," she says about reports that homeless women are receiving financial aid and jobs. "They (officials) only fill their pockets and no one cares about poor people."
No benefits for women
Officials in Balkh province agree women street vendors are harassed by the police.
Mohammad Azim Parwani in the Balkh Women's Affairs Directorate says there is a reason. Street sellers, including women, jam the roads and pavements, creating traffic problems for the police.
Abdul Qadir, manager finance and administration in the Balkh Labor, Social Affairs, Martyrs and Disabled department, washes his hands off all responsibility. Since the women are working, his department does not cover them, he says.
Robaba Nayebi, member of the Balkh Provincial Council, asserts there is little to show for the huge amounts of money that has been spent on development projects for women.