Afghan entrepreneur says Taliban will not silence her

Shafiqeh Attai   | Photo Credit: HOSHANG HASHIMI

An Afghan business leader who employs hundreds of women on her saffron fields has vowed to speak up for the rights of her workers, and “not remain silent” under Taliban rule.

The hardliners have increasingly excluded women from public life since sweeping to power in mid-August, pushing many women entrepreneurs to flee the country or go into hiding.

Also Read: Afghan women outraged by Taliban restrictions on work

“We will raise our voice so that it reaches their ears,” said Shafiqeh Attai, who started her saffron company in the western city of Herat in 2007.

“No matter what happens we won’t just sit at home, because we have worked very hard.”

Ms. Attai’s business, the Pashton Zarghon Saffron Women’s Company, produces, processes, packages and exports the world’s most expensive spice with an almost exclusively women workforce. More than 1,000 women pick the brightly coloured crocuses across the company’s 60 acres of land in the Pashton Zarghon district of Herat Province.

“I worked hard to establish my business,” the 40-year-old said. “We don’t want to sit quietly and be ignored. Even if they ignore us, we will not remain silent.”

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Printable version | Oct 27, 2021 3:46:14 PM |

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