If you look at the history of Afghanistan, you can see that the Taliban took control of the country in 1996. At that time, women had to follow the laws and live in harsh conditions. All the women of Afghanistan had to cover their faces and could only leave with a male. Society did not allow girls to attend schools while they did not allow women to work outside. They did not even allow them to vote and several cruel punishments were there if someone breaks these rules. Women were brutally beaten up and some even lost their lives.
That was the time when survival was impossible for women in Afghanistan. Then in 2001, when the Taliban left the country, the situation improved a little but only partially.
Women’s rights in the past 20 years
Although the gains that women faced were fragile and partial, still survival was somehow made possible.
- Women could work outside their house while girls were allowed to go to schools and get an education.
- Women now held positions in the ministry and even in the police department.
- In 2003, when the new government came, it removed all kinds of discrimination against women. It requires all the states to bring gender equality in their laws.
- The Afghan constitution in 2004 states that all men and women have equal rights before the law.
- Another law came in 2009. It states that you cannot force a woman to get married against her will.
- The crime rate was less as compared to the previous years while women did not face any violence.
These were some changes in Afghanistan, as earlier you would not see zero girls in schools and even on the streets. But as said earlier, these gains were fragile. The Taliban has again taken control of the country, all the fights that those innocent humans took are in vain.
Dark days are here
The Taliban is back in Afghanistan while the president has left the country. Now the questions on women’s rights are again popping up. The women and girls have to face harsh behavior. Again their future is at stake. We can see tweets from them these days as they have not changed at all.
They are saying that they will let girls study and women work but only according to Islam. All the women know that this is just for publicity and they are all helpless. There is a major difference between what they are sharing on the TV and what they are doing. The local commanders are enforcing harsh rules again, according to their leader.
They are forcing women to leave their jobs, schools are closing and restrictions on movement are there. A women’s rights activist in Afghanistan- Mahbouba Seraj, answers the journalist when they ask her about the international community. She said- “I am going to say to the world, shame on you”
Being a woman is difficult here!
Afghan women did everything possible to gain their rights. They fought with the world to make their position in society and took a stand for themselves. But what they did not know was that their effort was going to waste. The Taliban is as harsh to women as they were back in the 1960s. They can see how fragile their rights are and they are moving towards a dark future. They are putting on their burqas again and hiding every evidence of education. Afghan women are saying they are again facing the life that was before these 20 years.