“A return to the dark days” is how Afghan girls under Taliban’s resurging reign are describing their lives ahead. The radical Islamic terror outfit’s rule in Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001 witnessed a vacuum of gender rights with women and girls disallowed from studying, working, or individual agency with the imposition of harsh religious law.
With US troops retreating from Afghanistan now, major cities are falling to the Taliban as the group fast makes inroads into the mainland. Reports emerging carry rumours of President Ashraf Ghani’s resignation as unrest progresses. As a capture of capital Kabul is expected soon, embassies have begun evacuating staff.
But far from administrative planning, atrocities reportedly continue unbounded for Afghans, and women and girls are taking the major blow. The Taliban’s reading of Islam enforces a deep assault on women’s rights, monitoring everything from free choice to public movement.
Women telling tales of horror from their homeland express dread at the days to come. The glimpses they are being given already are enough cause for alarm.
The Fate Of Afghan Girls Under Taliban? Stories From The Disturbed Land
Girls coming home in rickshaws were allegedly lashed by fighters for wearing ‘revealing sandals,’ according to families that spoke to Associated Press this week. Young women of ages as low as 21 have reportedly been executed in past days, in cases of either not wearing a veil or wearing body-fit clothes of their choice.
Though spokespersons for the Taliban have denied it, gender-based sex crimes are charting upwards with terrorists from the organisation reportedly knocking on doors demanding young girls or raping them. It’s a repeat of history before 1996, women say. More on that here.
“That’s why we ran away, to prevent this from happening again,” a woman told The Guardian, amid reports of over a million Afghans’ displacement (majority women) surfacing in past months.
Movement is severely restricted for women not being allowed to venture outdoors without a male guardian – a staple Taliban diktat in the days before the US invasion. Journalists, bankers, mediapersons and other women in professional jobs are being pushed out – either out of helplessness or coercion – as the Taliban apparently rolls back rights that women in Afghanistan have fought hard over the years for.
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