Some Women Remain Defiant As Taliban Returns To Afghanistan

Some Women Remain Defiant As Taliban Returns To Afghanistan

New Delhi: One of the biggest fear between the women of Afghanistan losing the rights & freedom that they worked so hard to get over the course of 20 years now that the Taliban militant movement is back in Afghanistan. 

When the Taliban was in power in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 they followed strict Islamic law or Sharia was enforced, sometimes brutally. Women weren’t allowed to attend school or work. 

ALSO READ: After 20 Years, Taliban Reclaims Afghanistan. Here Is A Look At Top Taliban Leadership

However, after taking over Afghanistan the Taliban has reassured that women will be allowed to work and that girls will be allowed to attend school. According to the Reuters report, women have already been ordered from their jobs while other fear that the reality may be different from what the Taliban are saying. 

However, there are many women, especially those in urban areas who are ready to fight for the rights they worked so hard to get. 

“Times have changed,” said Khadija, who runs a religious school for girls in Afghanistan told Reuters.

“The Taliban are aware they can’t silence us, and if they shut down the internet the world will know in less than 5 minutes. They will have to accept who we are and what we have become.”

When the Taliban was in power earlier, women weren’t allowed to venture out of their homes without a male relative, and those who didn’t follow sometimes suffered humiliation and public beatings by the Taliban’s religious police. 

In the past two years, when t became clear that the foreign troops will be withdrawing from the country, they assured the West that the women will enjoy equal rights. 

In a recent statement, a Taliban spokesperson said they respect women’s rights, and that women would be allowed to leave homes alone, and that they will have access to education and work, provided they wear the hijab. On Tuesday, the Taliban also urged the women of the country to join its government as it declared an “amnesty” across the country.

However, the Taliban banned female news anchors in a government news channel and replaced them with their representatives, as reported by New York Times. Khadija Amin, a prominent anchorwoman on state television, informed the Taliban suspended her and other women employees, indefinitely.

Afghan girls’ education activist Pashtana Durrani, 23, was wary of Taliban promises.

“They have to walk the talk. Right now they’re not doing that,” she told Reuters, referring to assurances that girls would be allowed to attend schools.

“If they limit the curriculum, I am going to upload more books to (an) online library. If they limit the internet … I will send books to homes. If they limit teachers I will start an underground school, so I have an answer for their solutions.”

Some women have said that one test of the Taliban’s commitment to equal rights would be whether they give them political and policy-making jobs.

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai has expressed her concern over the situation in Afghanistan.

“I had the opportunity to talk to a few activists in Afghanistan, including women’s rights activists, and they are sharing their concern that they are not sure what their life is going to be like,” she told BBC Newsnight.

Earlier in July, Reuters the Taliban members enter a public bank and order nine women who were working there leave because their jobs were inappropriate and instead allowed male relatives to take their place. 

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