Ever since the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan, speculation about many mainstream concerns has been introduced to the table. Still, one that stands out from the rest is the bleak future of Afghan women in a country deserted by terrorism. The two-decade-old regime of terror is back in power.
A statement issued by the Taliban reads; “they will respect women’s rights within the framework of Islamic Law.” But is the Taliban’s vow trustworthy? What does the future hold for Afghan women?
The Courageous Women of Afghanistan
There are a few contenders to choose from when it comes to picking up the most important story of the Taliban’s takeover; but when it comes to choosing the most surprisingly revolutionary one amongst the Afghan Army’s easy surrender, President Biden’s capitalism, and Taliban abrupt victory; it is undoubtedly the resistance of Afghan women against the Taliban regime.
Despite being tagged with the title of ‘Damsled in Distress’ by the international media; these courageous women did not shut themselves behind the doors. On the contrary, they are openly protesting against the Taliban for their right fearlessly. In a recent demonstration, women stood up together with pluck cards and chanted slogans, demanding their deserved rights.
Most of the protesting women work in government sector and corporate. For a very long time, women were not allowed to receive formal education and join the workforce; decades of struggle have led these women to where they stand today. The uncertainty of working conditions for women in the Taliban rule has forced them to come out and speak up for themselves demanding a democratic government, one which the United Nations endorse. “We women want all the rights that Islam gives to women,” says one of the protestors.
Why are Afghan Women Protesting?
Entire Afghanistan is in Chaos ever since the Taliban’s overtake. The horrible picture the Taliban painted during its rule two decades ago is coming flashing back to the Afghan citizens, especially women.
Taliban regime is one of the darkest times for Afghan women. During those dark times, they were not allowed to step outside their houses without any male relative; let alone they were prohibited from standing on balconies for long times. In addition, the brutal punishment for not covering the face properly, secretly going to a beauty salon, and even education still scares the Afghans.
Now the girls fear that they might not be able to go back to their schools, whereas women lawmakers are afraid of their lives. In the past two decades, the US alone invested $780 million in Afghan women’s rights. As a result, today, women have joined the working force in almost every sector. Afghan women held political offices and joined police and military force. But many fear that the 20 years of progress done in women’s education, career, and rights might be getting rolling back to square one.
The Concern of the Taliban reimposing the draconian interpretation of Islamic laws on women and girls is forcing women to take the matter into their own hands.
The Future of Afghan women
Though today Taliban is claiming it has changed, but many women working in different sectors are already being forced to drop their jobs. A few days back, two female Journalist of Radio Television Afghanistan was taken off the air by the Taliban. The new extremist regime is banning women from journalism, and the list of professions soon to be banned for women is increasing.
Steven Butler, CPJ’s Asia program coordinator, says, “Stripping public media of prominent women news presenters is an ominous sign that Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have no intention of living up their promise of respecting women’s rights, in the media or elsewhere.”
The most burning question of the times is; What are the options left for women in Afghanistan? If the Taliban would not let them play their traits, what will they do? Relocation is the only option left for many. Afghans are fleeing their homeland to find a safe place; whereas Afghan women are franticly escapeing from Kabul for freedom, for following their passion strictly banned under the Taliban.
International leaders have long played trial and error with the Taliban. They are giving them the chance to think that the Taliban have changed, but isn’t it gambling with women’s lives? Today, Afghan women are only left with two choices, stay and risk your life or flee their homeland.
No one can predict what the future holds, but it seems naive to think that the Taliban have turned soft for now. But knowing what awaits them despite fallacious promises from the Taliban; Afghan women are not ready to kneel in front of the misogynistic policies of the new regime. They are not relinquishing their rights, and they are fighting against what’s wrong as long as they can.