AFGHANISTAN is a landlocked country in South Asia with its capital in Kabul.
It borders with China, Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Afghanistan has been de facto controlled by the Taliban as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan since August 15, 2021, i.e. since the fall of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan today as a Taliban-ruled state, bearing in mind the actions of the 1990s, could mark a giant step backwards, especially for women of Afghanistan.
The Taliban, after entering Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, try to appear moderate. Unfortunately, many observers warn that these are just appearances and predict that women and girls will have to live again as they did in the nineties. Unfortunately, women who were committed to women’s rights in the past are now even afraid for their own lives.
The Taliban already controlled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001. At that time, under the Taliban rule, women were not allowed to go out into the street without a burqa, that is, a garment completely covering the body and face, and only in the company of a man. The girls were not allowed to go to school.
Past experiences do not give Afghan women a strong and healthy hope for the future. The women fear that they will not be allowed to work, that they will not even be able to go to the hospital if they are not accompanied by a man relative.
There is information that such a situation already prevails in provinces over which the Taliban previously took control.
For example, according to media reports, we learn that in Kandahar province, Taliban militants were to send home nine female employees of a local bank and order them to stay there. Their place at work was to be taken by a family member – a man. The Taliban also entered mosques and declared that they would marry widows and young women.
Officially, the Taliban ensure that women “will not lose anything”, that they will have the same rights as Europeans. However, they will have to wear hijabs. Afghan authorities even claim that teachers and journalists have resumed work in Afghanistan and have lost nothing.
The Taliban has in the past severely punished Women for not following the orders and rules they imposed. In the 1990s, women were locked up, tortured and even killed. There were public flogging and public executions.
All of us as defenders, incl. Women’s rights, we are afraid that now such a situation will return, and mainly people who work for greater freedom of women or who exercise this freedom will be punished.
Time will show which fears will be confirmed and which hopes for the freedom of women’s rights in Afghanistan will be maintained and expanded. International opinion will closely scrutinize the situation of women in Afghanistan and will react firmly when it comes to violations of laws.
Of the FBE Human Rights Commission
Its chairman, Artur Wierzbicki