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The founder of a Kabul-based startup says she deleted details of her female staff to protect them as the Taliban neared the city

The founder of a Kabul-based startup says she deleted details of her female staff to protect them as the Taliban neared the city
The founder of a Kabul-based startup says she deleted details of her female staff to protect them as the Taliban neared the city
The founder of alert app Ehtesab deleted photos, videos, and online information about staff, she told Rest of World. "We do not feel safe."
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  • An Afghan startup hid its female workers' identities as the Taliban neared Kabul, Rest of World reported.
  • Sara Wahedi, founder of alert app Ehtesab, said she deleted photos, videos, and other information about her staff.
  • Women couldn't work when the Taliban last ruled Afghanistan, except in very limited circumstances.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

A Kabul-based crisis-alert app said it deleted all information about its female employees as the Taliban approached Afghanistan's capital city, Rest of World reported on Tuesday.

The Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15, retaking Afghanistan 20 years after US-led forces removed it from power.

Sara Wahedi, founder of the Afghan startup Ehtesab, told Rest of World that she had deleted photos, videos, and online information related to her female staff members to protect them.

"We do not feel safe," she said.

The Ehtesab app sends out security alert push notifications about roadblocks, gunfire, electricity outages, and other risks in Kabul, Wahedi told Rest of World.

Afghan women fear the Taliban will severely restrict their rights and freedom, like it did when it was last in power. At that time, women were not allowed to work, except in very limited circumstances, and they were not allowed to leave the house unless a male relative accompanied them, per a 2001 US State Department report.

If women broke the rules they were punished, including by beatings or stonings.

A Taliban spokesperson said on August 18 that women would be allowed to work and study "within our framework," without giving much detail, per a BBC report.

Read more: The US' involvement in Afghanistan makes one thing clear: we don't care about Afghan lives

Wahedi said in the interview that her female employees in Kabul were working remotely across the city. Wahedi is the only member of the team who isn't currently in Afghanistan - she's about to start studying in the US, she told Rest of World.

Ehtesab, which launched in March 2020, also cut staff workload to avoid extra stress, Wahedi told Rest of World.

"There are significant barriers to [women's] ability to seek safety and refuge," Wahedi told Rest of World. "There are young Afghan women who are pursuing non-traditional roles such as in tech, and now, the right to safety and refuge for them is being disregarded."

Read the original article on Business Insider
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