Mothernomics Behsud, Afghanistan- Zarghuna’s Story
Ms. Zarghuna is originally from Ab-e-Paran village, Behsud district of Maidan Wardak province. She was born in Kabul and spent her childhood here. Later, due to civil war and pervasive violence, she immigrated to Pakistan with her family. She spent her adolescent years in Pakistan, where she weaved carpets to provide for her family’s living expenses. Life in Pakistan had been really difficult for her considering the unwelcoming environment there for Afghan refugees and severe economic problems. Zarghuna enrolled herself in a private school in Pakistan to continue her education. She worked in carpet weaving during the day and went to school for two hours in the evening. Her father was injured in a traffic accident and was unable to work to cover the family’s expenses. For this reason, Ms. Zarghuna went through a lot of hardships while living in Pakistan for 9 years. Following the collapse of the Taliban regime in 2021, Zarghuna’s family came back to Afghanistan. Her father died after seven years of suffering due to a car accident.
In Afghanistan, Ms. Zarghuna decided to continue to go to school and make it to her favourite university to study and be able to financially support her family in the future. After taking the Kankor examination, she was accepted to Sayed Jamaluddin Semi-Higher Education Institute and studied social science. In addition to studying, she was teaching in learning centres for women. After graduation from the institute, she started to teach at a private school in Kabul and taught for three years. She got married in 2015 and her husband’s family did not want her to work outside the home. Her husband was a police officer who later left his job due to security fears since many of his colleagues were killed because of their job.
In the midst of such hardships, Zarghuna wanted to continue teaching at school to support her husband. She referred to a school but due to the Covid-19 lockdown and widespread school closures, the school rejected her request for teaching and she underwent tremendous financial stress as both Zarghuna and her husband were unemployed and therefore not even able to pay their house rent. “This year, after the Taliban took over Afghanistan, I lost my hope and was much stressed,” she says. “After I joined the LFT-Supported Mothernomics project, I have experienced many sensible changes in my daily life and this has given me a lot of hopes and mental comfort,” Ms. Zarghuna adds.
“I was completely stranded at home before joining this center. After joining Mothernomics center and starting tailoring and weaving training, I have recovered my hope and feel like I have regained my freedom and this work has improved my social relations and mental health,” she states. As women and girls are banned from working outside of the home and in the government, she says, this training center is a big hope for her, helping her learn tailoring knowledge and skills. In the past months, Zarghuna has improved her tailoring work skill a lot and says it is her goal to become a skilled tailor by receiving this training.