Taliban Say Their Men 'Not Trained' To Respect Women In Public Spaces: Report

Bitter memories from the Taliban's previous misogynistic regime are coming to life for women in Afghanistan who have been pushed behind closed doors.

Tanvi Akhauri
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Women in Afghanistan have much to fear under Taliban rule, more so in light of the radical terror outfit reportedly admitting their fighters are not "trained" to respect the full extent of their rights. Over a week now into their regime, schools and offices are still shuttered amid an uncertain future for women and girls of the country who worry whether they will be allowed to return at all or not.

A report by CNN quotes Taliban spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid explaining the absence of women from Afghanistan's public spaces as temporary. At least until their male soldiers are trained in how women should not be "treated in a disrespectful way."

The spokesperson added further that the group was "happy" at letting women back to workplaces once "women related procedures" were in place.

In their press conference two days after the Taliban assumed power on August 15, their leaders made several such claims with regard to the protection of human rights, in particular, of women who were notoriously subjected to tough oppression and endless atrocities under them between 1996 and 2001.

Women will retain rights, the Taliban have said, but as guided by dictates of the Islamic sharia law.

That is reason enough for women in Afghanistan to be distressed since the Taliban's reading of sharia the last time around gave way to public stonings and executions becoming common sights. A tight chokehold on women's rights to education, careers, free movement, sartorial choices and safety created further hell.

Women In Afghanistan Pushed Behind Closed Doors. Until When?


Even with this seeming assurance from the terror outfit, women are unconvinced owing to what they are witnessing and hearing daily. In the period of their rapid advance to power and ultimate takeover, the Taliban have made their ideologies amply clear and women are led to believe a return to the 'dark ages' of the 90s is imminent if their government gains legitimacy.

Reports have surfaced of armed gunmen demanding underage girls for marriage and alleged sex slavery, while in some parts, co-education has been banned and women are being executed for dressing up against the now-norm. Many women journalists, bankers and students in Afghanistan claim to have been turned away by the Taliban when they reached offices and institutes.

Zarmina Kakaran Afghan political speaker, tells SheThePeople women are rarely seen on streets now. Bitter memories from the Taliban's previous misogynistic regime are coming to life.

There is deep agitation over the lack of women in the administrative decision-making currently underway in Afghanistan. On social media and offline, courageous Afghans have stepped up to challenge tyranny - asking questions, protesting, raising awareness.

"We need assurance on the educational, political and social rights of women," Pashtana Durrani, an educator currently in hiding who continues to bat for the rights of Afghan girls to study, told us. Once assurances are secured, the leaders' actions will speak louder than words.

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