Women In Afghanistan

Ten months after the Taliban took over the majority of Afghanistan, it seems clear that the group does not intend on following through on their promise of a better record on women’s rights than their previous stint. Indeed, despite the Taliban’s insistence that they will soften on the issue of women’s freedoms when the situation becomes more secure, it appears that life for women in Afghanistan just keeps getting worse and worse, as every month or so, the Taliban put in place another restrictive measure.
Tens of thousands of girls have been shut out of secondary schools, while women have been barred from returning to many government jobs, from the start of the regime. Last month, Taliban chief Hibatullah Akhundzada issued a decree encouraging women to stay at home and ordering authorities to warn and even suspend from government jobs male relatives of women who do not comply with the strict Taliban dress codes. The Taliban’s feared Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, which enforces the group’s strict interpretation of Islam, put up posters across Kandahar city showing images of burqas that cover a woman’s body from head to toe as the required dress codes for women.
These measures are being noted by the international community with dismay. The UN rights chief on Wednesday slammed the Taliban’s “institutionalised systematic oppression” of women and girls in Afghanistan, warning they face a “critical” situation. However, other than condemnations and displays of concern, the international community has been able to do little else.
The fact that this situation has gotten this bad is also a massive failure of the international community and international organisations designed to promote peace and dialogue. Complete isolation, extreme sanctions and one of the worst malnutrition and poverty crises ever to hit Afghanistan has made the Taliban government even more extremist and set in their ways. With the threat of terrorism rising from even more extreme groups in the region, it is imperative for all major players and stakeholders on the international stage to push for avenues of dialogue to resolve this depressing situation we find ourselves in.

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