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Regime change negatively impacted Afghan economy and welfare; World Bank

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KABUL: The World Bank’s recent report reveals that the regime change in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August 2021 has not only had adverse effects on the economy but also on the welfare of the Afghan people.

According to the World Bank’s report on “Women, Business and the Law 2023”, Afghanistan is among the 11 economies with the lowest rankings in terms of Women, Business, and Law in its latest assessment. The report highlights that violent conflicts and high levels of institutional and social fragility significantly impact the quality of institutions and policies, particularly the governments’ ability to implement reforms.

“In the group of 27 low-income economies examined, the 11 economies with the lowest Women, Business, and Law scores are those facing fragility and conflict, including Afghanistan, Chad, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and the Republic of Yemen,” states the report.

The study further reveals that the “Taliban administration” in Afghanistan issued decrees and directives that restricted women’s freedom of movement and employment opportunities. Consequently, the recent regime change has had a negative impact on both the country’s economy and the welfare of its people, especially women and girls.

However, it is important to note that the final assessment of changes widening the legal gender gap in Afghanistan is based solely on what is observable in written form. The report clarifies that this approach is due to uncertainty regarding the applicable legal framework in Afghanistan and the exclusion of unwritten rules under the Women, Business, and Law methodology.

The Taliban’s imposition of severe restrictions on freedom of expression, association, assembly, and movement for women and girls is also noted. Additionally, they have ignored international calls for women and girls to access education and employment. Moreover, the Taliban leaders have warned other nations against interfering in Afghanistan’s domestic affairs.

The Taliban’s actions include prohibiting girls from attending secondary school, restricting the freedom of movement for women and girls, excluding women from most areas of the workforce, and banning their access to parks, gyms, and public bathhouses.

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