Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

A pop-up restaurant in Kabul is run by women for women. The Taliban is watching

< 1 min

National Public Radio, 1 June 2023

In this reportage about a restaurant in Kabul catering for women guests only (men can order carryout) and providing jobs for women, AAN’s Roxanna Shapour provides some context:

“Some families do not want the women in their families to work in the same office as men who are not related to them. In some rural areas, women are not allowed to leave the house without a mahram (a blood male relative or their husbands), so this limits their job options,” explains Roxanna Shapour, a researcher with Afghanistan Analysts Network.

“This leaves the private sector as one of the only avenues for women to work and earn a living, making places like Banowan-e-Afghan and other businesses very important to women who are trying to pay the rent and put food on the table for their families,” Shapour says.

(…) But a whole restaurant dedicated to serving and employing women is quite rare, and, according to analyst Shapour, fills an important niche. 

“It’s not only important for the women who work there; the restaurant also provides a space for women to gather and socialize outside the home. When women’s access to public life is shrinking, any move to keep this space open for women is paramount,” Shapour says.