Since the Taliban took power in mid-August, according to the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), at least 900,000 Afghans have lost their jobs.
According to the International Labor Organization, more than 500,000 Afghan workers lost their jobs in the third quarter of 2021, and the number of people who will lose their jobs since the Taliban took control is expected to reach 700,000 to 900,000 people by mid-2022.
Working women are disproportionately affected, according to SIGAR, with women’s employment expected to fall by 21% by mid-2022.
Since the Taliban took power, unemployment has skyrocketed, and poverty across many parts of the country has put millions of people in risk.
Due to four decades of conflict, severe drought, and pandemics, Afghanistan’s economy was already collapsing. After the Taliban seized power following the hasty withdrawal of US soldiers, the international community froze Afghanistan’s assets and withheld help. This is because there is no desire to work with the Taliban government and this group is under sanctions.
Women’s work, and especially female breadwinners, have struggled to make ends meet since the Taliban took control. Female employees in government offices are currently housed in the majority of cases.
Women’s rights have grown steadily throughout the international presence in Afghanistan, but the Taliban’s return threatens this progress.