Afghanistan Economic Crisis: Special market for women shuts down due to non-payment of shop rents

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The situation of women in Afghanistan under Taliban rule continues to deteriorate, as in yet another case, the “Khadijah Al-Kubra” market, specifically for women in Mazar-e-Sharif city, has been closed due to the non-payment of shop rents, Khaama Press reported citing sources on Monday. The market was shut down temporarily on Saturday, allegedly because store rent and water bills were unpaid.

The rent for each shop is 2,700 Afghanis per month, and for the last two months, it had not been paid, the sources said. Notably, market authorities have given women store owners a 10-day ultimatum to pay their rent or risk having their contracts cancelled. Women are the target customer base for the Khadijah Al-Kubra and Rabia Balkhi markets in Mazar City. The former has about 200 active stores, while the latter has about 400, reported Khaama Press.

The market shutdown comes amid a faltering economy that the country has at present. With the resurgence of de facto authorities, the country is grappling with a severe humanitarian crisis, with many people not able to cater to their basic amenities. Restrictive policies targeting women’s employment and mobility have only exacerbated the situation, leading to widespread suffering and hardship. These restrictions have plunged many families into deeper poverty and vulnerability.

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