Despite big claims, how Taliban’s decisions continue to threaten women’s rights

DNA Special: Despite big claims, how Taliban’s decisions continue to threaten women’s rights

In Afghanistan, which has a population of 40 million people, when the Taliban took over about 16 months ago, fear and dread followed. The majority of the population was terrified that they would once again have to live under the cruel and oppressive rule they had endured for 20 years.

Taliban allegedly said there would be peace, stability, and no one would be subjected to strict Islamic laws this time. Taliban claims have been refuted by its actions over the past 16 months, leading the world to believe that the group still has a 20-year-old mindset. Women’s rights were greatly threatened by the Taliban’s invasion of Afghanistan because they were the ones who were brutalised the most quickly.

Despite the hollow claims that women would receive equal rights, the Taliban’s actions towards women over the past 16 months has been greatly compromised. According to the Taliban’s most recent decision, no Afghan women will work for any local or foreign NGO inside the nation, and no NGO will further appoint any women.

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If any NGO does not follow the government’s order, their licence will be revoked as a result. The Taliban claims that this decision was made because of numerous complaints about numerous female NGO employees. According to the complaint, these women are not properly wearing the hijab.

The Taliban government outlawed girls and women from attending any women’s universities or other universities in the nation on December 20, just before the ban on women working for NGOs, claiming that women were not adhering to the Islamic dress code.

A professor from Kabul University tore degrees during a live debate on a news channel because expressing resenment about the ban on women entering universities. This video from the protest is also going viral on social media.

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Additionally, since March 2022, girls’ secondary schools have been closed, which directly affects more than 11 lakh children. In January 2022, sports competitions for women and girls were outlawed. Other decisions that violated women’s rights include requiring women to study in separate classrooms and removing women from positions of authority in September.

In November 2022, Kabul’s female-only entertainment venues were shut down, their open entertainment prohibited, and pictures of women outside of spas and salons outlawed.

Impact on women after the ban

Five significant NGOs in Afghanistan have ceased operations as a result of this ban, including “Care International,” “Norwegian Refugee Council,” and “Save the Children,” all of which have stated that they no longer have any funding. Additionally, there are no longer any female employees, so they must temporarily stop working.

About 28 million people in Afghanistan receive assistance from NGOs in order to maintain their quality of life, including a sizable number of women who require assistance during childbirth and who require assistance for medical care when they are ill.

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According to statistics from media reports, Afghanistan’s economy has collapsed under the Taliban’s rule, and 90% of the population cannot afford even two days’ worth of food. Employment is also extremely low, and people are completely dependent on foreign currency.

In an online survey conducted by McGill University a while back, 83% of women said they were afraid to leave the house, even in the afternoon; 95% of those who were running their own businesses had stopped; the remaining 5% operated secretly.

Other countries on Taliban’s decision

According to Saudi Arabia, this decision is unfair to women and needs to be changed.  Qatar has also voiced its strong opposition to the ban decision. The decision was criticised by the United Arab Emirates as being risky for international relations.

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