BY DIVYANSHI PUNDHIR
As the Taliban takes control of Afghanistan, prices for burqas are rising. So is the atrocities against women. After two decades of American presence in Afghanistan, the Taliban have resurfaced. Leaving women fearful of regressive laws, executions, and intolerance.
As a danger to women’s rights, freedom, and safety emerged. Women are concerned about their future. All of this is reminiscent of Afghanistan’s dark period.
TALIBAN’S BRUTAL RULE FROM 1996 TO 2001
Memories of the dark past contrast with the Taliban’s post-takeover statements. In the past, the Taliban’s cruel Diktat for women included not letting women leave without a male companion. It also banned women from working and studying. Public torture and execution for wearing nail polish. Not to mention laughing loudly in public. We can forget affairs ! These were not allowed! Will it be now ?
Women have been assassinated in public for failing to cover their bodies from head to toe . Be it even for a fraction of a second. Even in an emergency, women weren’t permitted to seek medical assistance from male doctors.
TWINKLING DEVELOPMENT AND EQUALITY FOR AFGHAN WOMEN
The international community and Afghanistani activists promoted women’s rights. In the two decades after the United states’ invasion women rights lived. Girls and women have joined the military and police services, held national power. They have participated in the Olympics and reached technical heights on automation projects. All of which were considered impossible under the Taliban.
Still not sure if the developments and changes for Afghan women will survive in this tragic period.
RETURN OF DARK ERA
Following the Taliban’s promises of changes, we heard the opposite. News of Talibani officials requesting a list of widowed women under the age of 45 and girls above the age of 12 surfaced. These women would be forced to marry Taliban’ terrorists. We have viewed the recent interview of a woman reporter interviewing a Taliban Leader and wonder what to make of it ?
Does this really mean the end of suppressing women rights ? Are the Taliban truly ready to allow women equal status? The answer is only time will tell !
Women’s rights have come a long way, but they are now in jeopardy. Pictures of women’s posters on the street being whitewashed appeared the day after the Taliban took over Kabul, as did stories of women being driven out of jobs in banks and on national television.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITIES ROLE?
In Afghanistan, the international community will play a significant role. The United Nations and peace groups must maintain their pressure. According to Amnesty International’s report, no female representatives were present throughout the negotiations. This indicates that women’s participation is essential.
We don’t foresee a bloodbath in the twenty-first century, but the question is what will be the breadth of women’s rights legislation. Is there a limit to how far it can go?