A glance into the deteriorating circumstances of Afghan women under the Taliban regime.
By: Daniel Finegan
Militant Islamist group, the Taliban first emerged in the 1990s in Pakistan. By 1998, it had taken over most of Afghanistan. Their early reign in the country was marked by numerous accusations of human rights abuses, including the suppression of women’s rights. Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the United States overthrew the Taliban regime in the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, but the group survived and grew in power. On Aug. 15, 2021, following the United States’ military withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban marched into Kabul and took control of the country. Since the Taliban took over Afghanistan again last year, policies have been put in place that are perceived as limiting women’s rights.
Despite early promises that women would be allowed to work and study, they are currently prohibited from attending secondary school and from performing most jobs. Additionally, women are required to wear a face veil in public. Any woman traveling far from home must be accompanied by a male guardian; and women are instructed to leave home only when necessary. Some of those who protested against these policies report being imprisoned and beaten by the Taliban. Amnesty International claims that many women have been arrested for “moral corruption,” such as appearing in public without a male chaperone, “have been subjected to solitary confinement, beatings and other forms of torture, and forced to endure inhumane conditions, including overcrowding and inadequate access to food, water, and heating in winter months.”
Despite public outcry against the Taliban’s actions, few concrete steps seem to have been taken against the regime. Money has been withheld from the Taliban until they honor their promises to allow girls to be educated. However, this pressure, even coupled with the collapse of Afghanistan’s economy, has not caused the Taliban to alter its rules regarding women.
Sources: Amnesty International, BBC News, UN Women