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Afghan Women Needs Saving

Taliban is an Islamic Fundamentalist group, that mainly consists of Pashtun natives of the Pashtunistan region of southern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan. They believe in a government that is predominantly Islamic and impose a very strict regime to be followed by everyone alike. They have a well-defined code of conduct for women.

The Taliban were ousted by the US government and military in 2001. After twenty years, they have returned. They spent the time regrouping in Pakistan, the neighboring country of Afghanistan. After their return, the US withdrew their troops from the bases as per the 2020 peace agreement with the group. The Taliban has grown from an insurgent group to a full-fledged functional government.

The Taliban has taken over all the spheres of life. Due to their inexperience running a country, the regime is struggling with providing adequate food supplies, international relations are in shambles, and economic opportunities are unmet.

During the US-led government, basic human and political rights were put in place. After their return, those rights are threatened. The UN has reported numerous human rights violations such as the closures of news organizations which takes away the freedom of speech.

Their belief in strict Islamic Sharia and ruling accordingly has enforced public executions. Along with this, women are under tremendous scrutiny. The girls are not allowed to attend schools and the women are not allowed to work any jobs.

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has estimated that due to restrictions on women’s employment, the GDP has fallen by 5%. Amnesty International has reported a surge in women being arrested for violating Sharia rules.

The women cannot leave the house without a male chaperone and they are required to cover their entire bodies with a burqa under Taliban’s sanctions. They have also denied women’s right to work in NGOs. This shows that the Taliban have no regard for the welfare of women.

The United Nations Human Rights have called on the de facto authorities to immediately lift the ban on women working with national and international NGOs. The Global Citizen survey reveals Afghanistan as the lowest in terms of women’s well-being as of 2021. 

Recently, Denmark has announced to let any Afghan woman or girl have a safe place to live. Sweden too has sided with Denmark’s stance as well. Meanwhile, India has introduced the ‘e-emergency X-Misc Visa’ for Afghanis; 200 out of 60,000 visas have been approved as of 2022.

Women for Women International (WFWI) have resumed the “Stringer Women, Stronger Nations” program in an attempt to empower women across Afghanistan. The wave brought a rise in food security, freedom to travel, and more decision-making power. They have over 3,000 women participating in the program in 2023 and it is expected to drag even more in the foreseeable future.

“Decades of progress on gender equality and women’s right have been wiped out in mere months,” said Sima Bahous, a female executive of the UN. It is necessary to uplift the spirits of women in Afghanistan and trace and fix the root cause confining women’s rights.

Esha Shahid


February 13, 2023

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Tags: #humanrights #Afghanistan #empower #freewomen


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