Women Under Taliban Rule

 By Sofia Rojas, 9th Grade

The Taliban, a socio-religious regime with Islamic fundamentals has taken over as head of state in Afghanistan since May 1st, 2021. Since the U.S. removed its troops in the country the Taliban has taken control of the nation, and taken drastic abusive measures against Afghani women since, much of which fade from international coverage.

Through the years, the Taliban has always had a presence in Afghanistan. From 1996 to 2001 the  Sharia law was implemented by this rebel group to those under their control. Sharia law happens to be an Islamic legislative body that explicitly conducts how morality and conduct should be interpreted by its following. Their strict interpretation of the law forbids women from being able to work and go to school once they reach the 7th grade. Because of this, gender segregation and sexism have marked an all-time high in the country. On March 27, the Taliban issued an edict enforcing gender segregation in public spaces. Women are obligated to be in the company of a mahram, or a male relative when being out of their household. Since these mandates have been implemented there have been persecutions. On July 12, 2021, a woman in the province of Faryab was beaten to death by the Taliban because of peacefully protestinging the mistreatment given. This same year, Taliban militants killed an Afghan woman because they claimed she was wearing overly tight clothes. 

During the August offensive, women were “advised” by the Taliban to stay at home because their soldiers were not trained to respect women and girls. However, these militants are using a broader tool to punish girls and that happens to be their education. For days, Afghan girls wearing their school uniforms have protested in the city of Kabul with the hope that secondary schools open again for female students. On March 23, after seven months of uncertainty female students across the country got ready to return to class only to be reinstated within hours of the reopening. Yet, many Afghan girls are taking their education into their own hands. 

Since the ban on education, 14-year old Huda Sadeqi has been stuck at home taking online courses. She expressed to the newspaper CBS feeling anger and rage about the mistreatment of girls and their education. In 2021, a secret online school was launched for girls 12 and older. This program was illegally implemented by the Learn Afghanistan Charity which set up the program for 100 girls in October. Other programs like the Herat Online school, are helping Afghan girls with the usage of refugees as educators due to the possible persecution. About 200 teachers are working with the program and another 300 volunteers are staffed. Even though the arts have been severely criticized by the Taliban the Herat online school is filled with them. Offering courses like calligraphy, yoga, sculpting, physiotherapy, and music. 

Girls deserve their right to education, and taking educational resources and environments away from them shows the brutality of these militias. Not only is education removed from sexist ideologies but women are also being persecuted because of what they wear or do. This regime represents a humongous takeback from what Afghanistan has accomplished in the last 20 years. 

References:

Faulkner, C. K. (2021, October 22). Online lessons to give Afghan girls secret education. World | The Times. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/online-lessons-to-give-afghan-girls-secret-education-qfphdgpl2

BBC News. (2021, September 12). Afghanistan: Taliban announce new rules for female students. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-58537081

Kermani, B. S. (2022, March 23). Afghanistan girls’ tears over chaotic Taliban schools U-turn. BBC News. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-60848649

CBS News. (2021, October 18). Taliban takes school and work from Afghan women and girls, but it can’t take their hope. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-taliban-women-girls-out-of-school-and-work-but-defiant/

Scollon, M. (n.d.). Armed With Online Option, Afghan Girls Say “Bring It On” When It Comes To Taliban Education Ban. Gandhara. Retrieved March 31, 2022, from https://gandhara.rferl.org/a/afghan-girls-online-education/31547925.html

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