Afghanistan has been reclaimed by the Taliban after 20 years of U.S. presence within the country. One of the most pressing issues that continues to pop up following the terrorist group’s seizure of Kabul is the way that women will be treated going forward. The Taliban are known to have a brutal and unforgiving way of treating women, and several survivors are speaking out.
Two female journalists who are not in association with each other explained how the Taliban barred them from newsrooms and threatened to kill them. One journalist shared her story with gunfire in the background, while the other explained how she has to change her location every day in order to avoid capture.
Another woman expressed her desire to become a doctor, achieving the place of a midwife before the Taliban took over, but now, her dreams are shattered.
Following their return to power, the Taliban promised to other nations that they would be more egalitarian and permissive than they had been 20 years ago when they ran the country. Those promises are still bounded by Sharia law, however, and offer little more to women than the squalor and torment they experienced before U.S. troops liberated the region in 2001.
A woman who escaped the Taliban during their regime in the 90’s was sent away to be married in Canada at the age of 14. Her parent’s helped arrange the marriage to prevent her from suffering torture at the hands of the Taliban.
Veteran war correspondent Lara Logan explained that women who endure Taliban rule are subject to “a long slow death,” saying that it’s sometimes better to simply be “slaughtered quickly” than endure “sexual slavery… the end of freedom… possibility… hope.” She added that Afghan women are “denied the ability to love,” because they are sold young as sex slaves to be raped by a stranger that they don’t love.
Logan went on to describe more of what life is like under Sharia law for women; they are not allowed to show their faces in public, not allowed to leave the house without a male escort, not allowed to work or learn to read and write. Women under the Taliban are under constant threat of violence, becoming targets for beatings if they wear so much as a belt buckle that’s too shiny.
Logan says that the Taliban’s promises to expand women’s freedoms are empty lies and political talking points. While a small handful of women may be put out as “token” examples of women’s equality under the Taliban, she warns that the truth for most will be very dark because the Taliban is still driven by the same ideology and religion as 20 years before.
Author: Owen Higgins