Wednesday, 29 April 2009

No jam for the Taliban

The first post we made on this blog featured Fraser Doherty alias Jam Boy, the young man who learned jam-making skills from his granny and went on to drop out of university to set up a business, SuperJam.

Today's post is about another jam maker, but it's a very different story. I read about this brave woman in a piece in the Sunday Times Magazine by Christina Lamb (link below).

Mariam Jami is a jam maker in Afghanistan. She risks her life every day to make jam. She started on her own then grew the business until she had 20 women working for her. She entered the Afghan version of Dragon's Den, wearing the hijab and dark glasses to protect her identity. Coming second, she won $14,000, a huge sum in Afghanistan. On returning home to her village, she found men, under orders from an ex government minister now allied to the Taliban, had beaten up her husband and brother. They threatened her and demanded a share of the winnings. Mrs Jami had to flee to the city, where she continues to make her jam but is unable to return to her home village.

Mrs Jami is one of many women facing terrible consequences in pursuing activities we take for granted, like reading, studying, or running a business. Read the piece by Christina Lamb to find out how bad things have got for women, where marital rape is now legal and gang rapes go unpunished.


  1. You should read Reading Lolita in Tehran -it gives a real insight to life in the middle east.

  2. Christina Lambs article was painful to read. What have we achieved? Another example of a war for no good reason. Women & their suffering was given as one reason to oust the Taliban but this is a patriarchal in justice ingrained in the population. What can we really do? If anyone has any suggestions I am listening.