Women In Afghanistan
Despite international condemnation, world sanctions of the harshest kinds, lessons from a past of constant conflict and bloodshed, and a humanitarian crisis undergoing in Afghanistan, the Taliban government in Afghanistan appear firm in its insistence on curtailing women’s rights. In a move highly reminiscent of the first highly condemn-worthy rule of the Taliban in the 1990s, the new and supposedly more modern Taliban government of 2022 have ordered the country’s women to cover their faces in public.
This step appears to solidify what most of the world thinks of the Taliban—that they have not changed at all from their previous terrible stint, and all the new promises made in August when they took over the country that they would grant women their due human rights were false reassurances. Almost none of the promises made by the Taliban have been followed through—the Ministry of Women Affairs was abolished, schools for girls were shut down despite the Taliban’s reassurances that they would continue female education, several restrictions were placed on travelling for women and similar bans were also introduced in several healthcare centres across the country, forbidding women to access healthcare without a mahram.
Needless to say, these developments are a violation of human rights and count as wide-scale gender-based discrimination which sets the region back decades. This is disappointing also for Pakistan, which had been making very reasonable pleas to the world stage to not leave Afghanistan isolated from the world in order to protect Afghans.
However, this is also a failure of the international organisations and the powerful countries who had been previously involved in Afghanistan. Pakistan was right in its initial argument that the Taliban government must be engaged in order to negotiate that the human rights standards are being met. Complete isolation, extreme sanctions and one of the worst malnutrition and poverty crisis ever to hit Afghanistan has made the Taliban government even more extremist and set in their ways. In order to protect the women of Afghanistan, the Taliban government and the international community must find some avenues of dialogue.