Taliban Demands Girls: The militant insurgency group Taliban, fighting with Afghanistan forces to gain control of a large part of the war-ravaged country, has reportedly issued a statement ordering local religious leaders to deliver them a list of girls over 15 years of age and widows under 45 years of age.
As per the reports, the Taliban has promised that these women would be taken to Waziristan in Pakistan, where they will be converted to Islam, reintegrated and then married to their fighters.
Under the Taliban rule before being ousted after the US-led 2001 invasion, women were banned from school, work outside the home or leave their house without a male escort in Afghanistan. All violators were publicly shamed, humiliated and, beaten up by the Taliban’s religious police.
Now, Afghanistan elders fear that the Taliban will take away their daughters and forcefully marry them turning them into mere sex slaves.
Haji Rozi Baig, an Afghan elder, told the Financial Times, “Since the Taliban took over, we feel depressed. At home, we can’t speak loudly, can’t listen to music and can’t send women to the Friday market. They are asking about family members. The [Taliban] sub-commander said you should not keep girls over the age of 18; it’s sinful, they must get married”. Baig further added, “I’m sure the next day they will come and take my 23-year-old and 24-year-old daughters and marry them by force”.
As per the reports of the Associated Press, 140 civil society and faith leaders from Afghanistan, the United States, and other countries “dedicated to the education and rights of women in Afghanistan” requested President Joe Biden to call for a UN peacekeeping force mission “to ensure that the cost of US military withdrawal from Afghanistan is not paid with the lives of innocent schoolgirls”.
In a letter dated May 14, they also urged the US authorities to increase development and humanitarian aid to Afghanistan “as an important security strategy” to strengthen and protect girls, women and, religious minorities like the Hazaras in the war-scarred country.