Afghan Women Feeling Helpless
Afghan women have made many sacrifices in the past to achieve their rights in various domains.
Now, that the US army left Afghanistan and the Taliban forces taking over the governance in Afghanistan seems to undo all the efforts of women been made in the past 20 years, leaving them feeling despondent. They fear that the dark period might return.
They are continuously seeking help and support from other countries using various platforms, mainly through social media.
In the city of Herat, which lies in the western part of Afghanistan, around three dozen Afghan women began their demonstration near Governor’s office on securing women’s rights in Afghanistan and demanding their participation in forming the new Government.
“We want the world to hear us, and we want our rights to be saved”, says Friba Kabrzani, the leader of the rally organized.
Taliban Control in The 1990s
The last time the Taliban took control over Afghanistan in 1996-2001, they carried out an extreme interpretation of Sharia rule, banning women’s right to education, right to get financially independent.
They even denied women’s freedom of movement. Any kind of violation of Islamic law would result in whipping in public, sometimes even public execution.
Empty Promises of Taliban:
All over television, Taliban forces are seen to make promises of including women in important domains.
According to Basira Taheri, an human rights activist, no women have seen the gatherings and movements organized by the Taliban.
In an interview with BBC Pashto, Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai said that although women can continue working, they may not be given political rights or top posts. Stanikzai is a senior Taliban Leader.
The first female journalist to interview a Taliban official, Behesta Arghand, requested the international community to provide a helping hand to the miserable Afghan women through her report to AFP.
She escaped her country after this, fearing for her life. Arghand is the former anchor of the Tolo News media group.
According to some Taliban, spokesperson women will be allowed to work and study freely. However, outside Kabul, we will find the Taliban preventing women from entering Universities. They even shut down several girl schools and women’s clinics.
Taliban’s Enforcing Sharia Rule on Women
Taliban consider giving some rights to women but only within the boundary of Sharia rule or Islamic law. Back in 1996, a woman from Kabul had her thumb cut off for wearing nail polish. Another woman who was accused of adultery was stoned to death.
How we interpret, Sharia is purely subjective. It is contradictory even in the Muslim world. According to it, some specific crimes like Adultery, Stealing has some fixed punishments. If one is proven guilty, they will be charged under it.
Women get no right to move freely without any male escort. They are also getting deprived of doing any kind of job.
Besides these, Sharia also gives us direction about how marriages and divorces should get conducted and how prayers to be done
According to Hosna Jalil, Sharia means lack of access to every basic need of women: education, justice, employment, shelter, food, security.
Don’t Be Afraid!
Now their only mantra is: “Don’t be afraid, we are all together”. Baira Taheri, who participated and was one of the lead organizers of the rally conducted on Thursday, said: “We won’t be silent anymore.”
The protesters believed that only by raising their voice against the Taliban can get demanded inclusion of women in the new Government be fulfilled.