Will Talibans Return To Power Undo The Progress Afghan Women Achieved In 20 Yrs?

Image Credits: Wikimedia (Representational)

Will Taliban's Return To Power Undo The Progress Afghan Women Achieved In 20 Yrs?

During their last rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, the group forbade women from working, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their faces and wear a burkha apart from being accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes.

  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • koo

Amid distressing visuals of individuals attempting to flee Kabul by desperately seeking a route out, another deplorable situation in Afghanistan has been highlighted on social media in the past few days. Unsettling videos of women in Afghanistan revealing their fears in the wake of the Taliban seize is truly worrisome.

"In the eyes of Taliban, women are not living, breathing human beings, but merely some meat and flesh to be battered," said 33-year-old Khatera, an Afghan resident who was shot by insurgent fighters and her eyes gouged out after the assault, as per a News 18 report.

Former police personnel, Khatera was attacked by the Taliban last year on her way back from her work. She was accosted by three Taliban fighters who asked to check her identification. They then shot her multiple times in her upper body and inflicted knife injuries upon her. The Taliban pierced her eyes with knives after she fell unconscious and left her to die. Khatera was two months pregnant at the time.

"They (Taliban) first torture us (women) and then discard our bodies to show as specimen of punishment. Sometimes our bodies are fed to dogs. I was lucky that I survived it. One has to live in Afghanistan under the Taliban to even imagine what hell has befallen on the women, children, and minorities there," Khatera said, as per News18.

The departure of President Ashraf Ghani seems to have taken away, even the smallest glimpse of hope for Afghan women.

Aaisha (named changed for confidentiality) is a prominent news anchor and a witness to the wrath inflicted on Afghanistan. "For many years, I worked as a journalist … to raise the voice of Afghans, especially Afghan women, but now our identity is being destroyed and nothing has been done by us to deserve this," Aaisha told The Guardian.

Analogous to Aaisha, several female Afghan journalists speak of a once-bustling Kabul now subdued and as a result, these female journalists are destroying traces of their identity and work to avoid the Taliban militants.

Zarifa Ghafari, Afghanistan's first and youngest female mayor said that she is waiting for the Taliban to come and get her. Nobody can rescue her family that has been doomed, reported India Today.

As the insurgents reached the capital early Sunday, August 15, a photo circulated on social media showing the owner of a beauty salon painting over posters depicting women.



Will History Repeat Itself?

Another shocking instance of the docile status given to Afghan women was during the Taliban seize of Azizi Bank in the southern city of Kandahar where nine women who worked there were ordered to leave. They were escorted to their homes by gunmen and were instructed not to return to their jobs however they were told that their male relatives could take their place. "It's really strange to not be allowed to get to work, but now this is what it is," Noor Khatera, a 43-year-old woman who had worked in the accounts department of the bank told Reuters.

A similar scene played out at Bank Milli, in the western city of Herat, two days after the incident at Azizi Bank. The women employees were admonished for revealing their faces in public and were forced to quit their jobs, as per Al Jazeera. Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid did not respond to a request for comment about the two incidents.

According to an India Today report, 21-year-old Nazanin was allegedly killed by the Taliban for wearing tight clothes and not being escorted by a male relative in the country's northern Balkh province.

During their last rule in Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, the fundamentalist group forbade women from working, girls were not allowed to attend school and women had to cover their faces and wear a burkha apart from being accompanied by a male relative if they wanted to venture out of their homes.

The group's archaic interpretation of Sharia law resulted in the Taliban inflicting humiliation and public beatings on women who broke their rules. The Taliban also carried out public executions, chopped off the hands of thieves, and stoned women accused of adultery.

Is There Light At The End Of The Tunnel For Afghanistan?

In recent years during inoperative talks, Taliban leaders assured the West that women would enjoy equal rights in accordance with what was granted by Islam, including the ability to work and be educated.

"We will respect rights of women… our policy is that women will have access to education and work, to wear the hijab", Taliban spokesman Suhail Shaheen is reported as having told the BBC.

On the broader question of whether women would be allowed to work in banks in areas it controls, the group added that no decision had yet been made. "After the establishment of the Islamic system, it will be decided according to the law, and God willing, there will be no problems," it said according to Al Jazeera.


However, the groups' inconsistencies in walking their talk have put a big question mark on Afghan women's future.

Also Read: 'War Is Over': Taliban Takes Over Afghanistan, Chaos Looms Over Kabul Airport As Desperate Locals Attempt To Board Plane







Contributors Suggest Correction
Editor : Palak Agrawal
,
Creatives : Palak Agrawal

Must Reads