Broom “keshkheshsh-ing” caught my attention; young woman wearing orange uniform had covered her face with a veil and only one of her eyes was visible, alongside other women she was sweeping a street in PD7.
Shafiqa is breadwinner and protector of her family, whose husband was a soldier in ANA and killed ten years ago in a conflict with armed Taliban in Kandahar.
After losing her husband; she left Takhar to Kabul, in order to watch better her son and daughter. Now she passes her virulent life with her daughter 13 and son 10, in an old house located in a sub montane in Kabul.
“It was 10 years ago when my husband was killed in a conflict with Taliban in Kandahar, and my husband’s family asked me that either get married with your brother-in-law or leave your children,” she said as she was relying on her broom. “I was not able to live without my children and on the other hand I was not willing to fill my husband’s position with my brother-in-law; I decided to go to Kabul for fostering my children; then I left for Kabul in autumn of the year…”
According to Shafiqah, ten years ago, she began an arduously life in Kabul with her 3-year and 6-month children relying on extant saving fees of her deceased husband.
Since a few months ago, she was introduced to “Clean and Green City” program of Kabul Municipality, sponsored by the Habitat International Institute.
The government gives 48,000 Afghani per month for her husband’s martyrdom, alongside the money she makes, passes her life hardly.
“The money I earn monthly is not enough for my routinely expenses.” She said with a weak intonation. “In such a cold weather, we warm our home only at night due to lacking of fuel”
Shafiqah says that although she works hard and prevent begging, she and her colleagues have not received their salaries for the past three months, and on the other hand, they are paid less than what they had contracted.
She is not the only woman joining this program, but alongside her, there are many other women wearing principality uniforms and cleaning the roads and city from morning to evening, who all are complainant about payment and decrease of their salaries.
Nazia, a young girl who is a supervisor in the group, says that according to the contract they have a salary of $ 6 per day, but they are not paid more than $ 4 and they are not paid salaries for three months.
Meanwhile, Habitat officials say none of the brusher women receive less than $ 150 per month, but they claim to receive $ 120 per month, according to these comments, the $ 30 of each brusher are lost.
Meanwhile, Dost Mohammad Khorrami, director of “Clean and Green City” Program, told Middle East Press that the salaries of brusher women are $ 6 per day and if they have no absence, salaries are fully paid by Habitat Institute via local council.
Referring to the 3-month delay for paying female employees in the PD7 of Kabul city, he said that Habitat Institute pays their salaries in a timely manner to local social councils` bank accounts, unless the local councils` documents and reports are not accurate and complete.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Behzad Ghiyasi, head of Kabul Municipality Cleaning department, declaring that the salaries of these women are paid as their daily attendance, which is an amounts of 10,000 Afghanis per month, said “their salary deduction is because of absence and alterations of days in every month”
He continued that the salaries of PD7 female employees delayed due to the alterations in their supervisors.
The “Clean and Green City” program has been launched by Kabul Municipality with sponsorship of International Habitat Institute, through this program 350 women from various districts are employed for cleaning.
Reporter: Sediqa Rahimi