What does the future hold for women in Afghanistan?
Afghanistan is a mess right now. People are desperate to leave the country, be it Afghan nationals or foreigners. The nation has already witnessed the dark era of the Taliban back from 1996 to 2001. The current situation is frightening as the country has again fallen into the brutal hands of the Taliban. As the country’s leader Ashraf Ghani has proved himself a big coward by running off. The collapse of Afghanistan’s government is the indicator that the future of the country is black now. Two young boys who fell and died as they were clinging onto the plane show what these innocent people would be going through. it is very disturbing. A shameful incident in world history. Let us take a deeper dive into it and understand the situation vividly. Taliban is a hard-line Islamist Group formed in September 1994 by Mohammad Omar and Abdul Ghani Bardar. They are famous for violence against women, Misogyny, and unjust restrictions. They believe in the idea of gender apartheid. Denying human rights is their motive. Back in 1996, when the Taliban took over the majority of Afghanistan, girls and women were suffocated by strict and inhuman rules. They were not allowed to get a formal education, employment, political participation, to go anywhere without a male member or mahram. They had to cover their faces. Even music and movies were banned. Forced marriages of young girls were common. They were not allowed to wear heels, speak loudly in public, forbidden from appearing on television or radio. Cultural activities and media were banned. They used to beat women, sexual slavery and public flogging was common. The story of Malala ( Taliban's cruelty in Pakistan) is one most heart-wrenching incidents. The list is quite long, long enough to make it very clear what this chaos is all about.The political landscape of Afghanistan was never steady. It has an ear-shattering past, a past with murders and bloodstains. There are tons of scary stories about women’s pathetic situation under the Taliban. In 1996, a woman’s thumb was cut for wearing nail paint.Recently, few men of the Taliban walked into a bank and ordered nine women to leave. They even escorted them to their homes and asked male members of their families to take their places at work. This clearly shows that women's rights and freedom are going to be in the trashcan. Not only women’s rights and freedom but, humanity is at stake. During talks over political settlements, Taliban leaders assured that women would not be oppressed. They would get the opportunity to work and be educated. But all those promises were just a trap. Despite these claims, they have changed their stance on women’s rights. The Taliban even ordered to provide a list of girls as young as 12 so that their fighters can marry them. Educational institutions for girls and women have been shut, they are told not to come back. Smartphones and televisions have been banned. The dreadful era of forced confinement is back in Afghanistan. The question arises, what about the hard work of the last 20 years? It was not an easy road to conquer. The damages caused by the Taliban took a long time and effort to heal. The women with firm determination and hard work have earned respectable positions in society and workplaces. They hold powerful positions in Government, Army, Healthcare, Technology, and every other sector. They had a meaningful life now. They could move without any restrictions. Now, they know what it is to be independent and free. They understand the importance of equality. Can we reverse it now? Is it that easy? What about the girls who have studied hard to achieve their dreams. What about their plans? How can we let them ruin them? It took a lot of courage, hard work, and determination to build this skyscraper of progress in a country like Afghanistan. Afghanistan’s first female mayor Zarifa Ghafari has said that a few weeks ago she was hopeful that her country has a future. Now she is sitting there waiting for them to come and kill her”. There is no one to help. Even the female soldiers are in a panic about what would happen to them. Will they be killed, raped, or flogged? Now the Taliban is going to target the women in positions of power and who have been vocal about their rights for the past 20 years. A report from Afghanistan confirmed that the girl’s robotics team who got the silver medal for courageous achievement in 2018 in an international robotics competition is trying to escape the country. If the independent and professionally powerful women are this much agitated what to expect from others? In the 21st century when we are talking of robots, moving to mars, conquering the oceans, can we allow our women who contribute 50 per cent of the population to be tormented like this? What message will it convey to the world? Even at this stage, we are unable to protect women’s rights, we are unable to assure a safe and secure environment. A society can never move forward leaving behind half of its people. This issue is not about taking over this is about the lost future, power, and freedom of women living there. This is unjust and unacceptable. Instead of sympathizing with women, we have to take strong actions to restore the freedom they have had a few days ago.
The condition of women in Afghanistan has started to get better, however, the control of the Taliban will tectonically shift it in reverse. The twenty-year progress got drained in few days.Every step of the Taliban towards Kabul has crushed the rights of women in Afghanistan. The future and life of women will be hell.
Keywords : Afghanistan Afghanistan is burning Taliban Taliban occupied Afghanistan Women in Afghanistan Afghanistan women