Afghan Women in the Combat Row Against the Taliban

Once again, the Taliban are trying to violate all women's rights in accordance with their strict beliefs, but women are resisting in order to protect their rights and their 20 year achievements.

The historic event of August 15, 2021 not only shocked the people of Afghanistan but also the world in astonishment. The fundamentalist Taliban reached the gates of Kabul after capturing the provinces of Afghanistan. The group set the stage for an attack on Kabul, and the Taliban entered in Kabul the capital of Afghanistan. It was expedient that the group should not enter Kabul until an agreement was reached on an interim government and seize power by force of arms, but the escape of President Ashraf Ghani paved the way for the group to attack Kabul and the Taliban, contrary to everyone’s expectations. They entered the capital of Afghanistan, Kabul,     Afghan women, which in the last twenty years were extremely significant in various social spheres, suddenly disappeared, the Taliban once again fought with women with their strict religious  in terpretation They got up, forbade girls to go to school, and women were forbidden to go to work for a second.

All women’s social activities were stopped, but this time woman did not remain silent despite the rule of 1996, and lined up in front of Kalashnikovs and the long-haired Taliban, demanding their rights.

The women’s protests erupted when central spokesman of Islamic Emirates for the Taliban Zabihullah Mujahid, appeared at a news conference on August 17, 2021, after occupying Kabul, saying that no woman could work in high-ranking positions in the new government and that women should stay home until the next decision. These words of the Mujahid provoked the anger of many women in the country, and the next day, on September 2, a number of women, numbering 54, took to the streets in the city of Herat. They chanted (“Do not be afraid, do not be afraid, we are all together. We want work. Do not deprive us of the right to work and study.”)

Maria, a 32-year-old protester in Herat, said: “she wanted to make it clear to the Taliban that this time Afghan women and girls were not the girls they had been whipping 20 years ago by the Taliban in front of the general public. Or they stoned them without any guilt, but no one could raise their voices against them.” Women today are very brave and courageous.” We want the right to education and work. We will not allow anyone to take this right away from us. Let go of their extremism because what the Taliban imposes on women is also against the teachings of Islam.

On September 4, during a demonstration by women in Kabul, protesters wanted to move toward the presidential Palace. During the demonstrations, the Taliban tore up women’s slogans, and the Taliban physically assaulted the women and used tear gas against the demonstrators. The demonstration ended with one of the demonstrators being injured.

The scale of women’s protests in other provinces soon expanded. On September 3, 25 women in Mazar-e-Sharif rallied to study and continue their work, but the protests escalated into violence by the Taliban.

Samira Khairkhwah, a 26-year-old civil society member who took part in the march, said that despite peaceful protests, the Taliban responded violently. “Taliban members threatened to beat protesters and journalists,” she said. “They insulted us and beat a journalist.” She added that the Taliban should not recognize women as the second person in society. We want domestic and foreign journalists to raise our voices to the international community so that the international community can put pressure on this group to respect human rights and women rights.

The scenario of a demonstration was set up by religious women also did not sit idly by to make it clear to the world that not all women are opposed to Taliban ideas.

On September 9, about 300 women and girls, gathered from various religious schools and institutions, gathered at Educational University of Kabul, wearing black religious clothing called the Hijab, in support of the Taliban, and opposed that Women demonstrated on the streets. They chanted that women’s rights are protected in Islam and that Muslim women are satisfied with the treatment of their Mujahideen brothers, saying that they support the Islamic Emirates regime. The women, who were all black and even had their eyes covered with thin black patches, demanded the separation of all the student boys and girl’s classes in the educational centers and the separation of the offices between men and women.

Fowzia, a 23-year-old student who questioned women’s freedoms in the republican system. This was neither freedom for women nor rights given to women at that time. “In the past, women were used as objects of pleasure and decoration in offices and universities, their rights and dignity were ignored, Fowzia believes that only Islam guarantees all women’s rights and that the Taliban are the executors of all Islamic rules in the country, she added: “Many girls got jobs not because of their talent, but also because of their beauty or illegitimate relationships. But now I am thankful that women will be included in the system of the Islamic Emirate because of their talent and style.

The Taliban not only obligatory housed women, but also disbanded the (the Ministry of Women’s Affairs) only ministry dedicated to women. Hundreds of women were separated from the government and housed. They were relocated under the guise of the ministry of Islamic affairs, which was met with a sharp response from the ministry’s staff.

Marie, a 37 years old woman, a (pseudonym name) said: “They know that the Taliban are slowly taking all their rights away from them because the Taliban have done so in the past, in the first term of the regime,” or a Wicketton Ministry of Women employee, told reporters at the scene. In 1996-2001, Women no longer able to work in any field by Taliban, she said “Removing the Ministry of Women’s Affairs from the government means killing Afghan women”). She considers herself the father of four children. And the burden of the family is on her. Maria, while tears were flowing from her eyes, added: “So what should I do? Beg? Do the Taliban make a living from their personal pockets? Do they pay for my house? Never, no, I am from the Taliban.” I ask what is decree of Islam rules in this case?))

Although Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s central spokesman, called on women not to protest again, on September 8, women in the third security district of Kabul protested against the removal of the Ministry of Women from the cabinet of the Islamic Emirate.

Hasna Rezaei, 23, a resident of Kabul’s Barchi Plain said: “Most Afghan women are breadwinners for their families,”. The Ministry of Women should not be targeted because their families and lives are ruined. Their children are dying of hunger.

However, Maulvi Asadullah Bilal Karimi, deputy spokesman, of Zabihullah Mujahid, did not agree with the women’s claims. “Women’s rights are committed in parallel with the rules of Sharia and will never be violated,” He said: “Work is allowed. “There are plans in place to ensure a safe and secure environment for women to work so that women do not face physical and psychological problems,”

If the Taliban have always emphasized in their statements that this is a temporary situation, women will have the right to work and study again in the future, but people do not believe this statement because the Taliban made similar statements when they came to power in 1996, but as long as they were in power, women could never regain the right to study and work.

Dadras, a former employee of the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, believes that she sees the Taliban’s promises as empty and time-consuming. “By removing the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, the Taliban once again declared their hostility to women. This act of the Taliban showed that they are very opposed to women working outside the home. In Islam, women have the right to work, the right to freedom,” she said: “Human rights (freedom of opinion, thought and decision-making).” He added, “Women in the age of the Prophet’s age were present in social sectors such as managing the market economy, attending consultative meetings with men.” The judge and his colleagues called on the international community to put pressure on the Taliban to Respect women’s civil rights.

Taranum Saeedi, a women’s rights and civil society activist said: “We women want civil rallies to demand women’s rights, and we women always want our rights. The Taliban should not remove women from the scene, women for twenty years, and also said. “In the past, they combated for their rights, studied, received doctorates and master’s degrees, and entered the community, but today the government does not want women to participate in the government.”

One of the most important achievements of the republican system was the large and colorful presence of young people, especially girls, in the field of education. Private schools and universities were established in all provinces. Hundreds of thousands of young people obtained higher educational degrees from abroad. They traveled for higher education. National and international institutions continued to hold senior positions in the government, but the Taliban ignored all this and once again closed the gates of schools and universities to girls, although girls were allowed to enter universities. Although girls were allowed to study in universities, provided that the boys ‘and girls’ classes were separated, or that a curtain or wall was erected to separate the girls from the boys. Young girls up to the sixth grade were also allowed to go to school, but girls in the seventh to twelfth grades were barred from going to school.

Meanwhile, Banu Tafsir, wearing a black cloths activist for women’s rights, says: “In the current situation, women need education and training.”Women and girls must be present in all areas,” he said. “The rights given to women in the holy religion of Islam have not been given in any religion at all.”

Abdul Baqi Haqqani, acting head of the Taliban’s Ministry of Higher Education, expressing Taliban beliefs about the education of girls and boys, disappointed university students and professors. And the greatness he has given to religious scholars is not seen in the existence of any bachelor, master or doctor. The knowledge of religious scholars is higher than these documents. Extreme people encountered. This statement was considered as trivializing higher education, which was met with strong reactions from people on social media.

“Those who have graduated from 12th grade or other educational institutions over the past 20 years will not benefit the country,” Haqqani said for the second time in another meeting, which was again reported by the media. This statement clearly shows the indifference of Talabani’s thoughts towards modern science and knowledge. The head of the Ministry of Higher Education was faced with strong reactions.

But Bilal Karimi said about the remarks of the acting Minister of Higher Education that they contacted the acting Minister, but Haqqani said that the media had misinterpreted his words. “It has been done, but it is better for him to provide an answer in this case.”

One of the professors of private universities, who did not want to be named, considered the words of the head of the Ministry of Higher Education as a psychological blow to students, especially women.”The Taliban, and the colonial governments in general, are always busy with trivial things, while they have to focus on” Focus on fundamental issues. The Acting Minister of Higher Education indirectly stated that higher education is not compatible with today’s modern education, and those who have worked or are working hard in this area are in vain.” “Fencing between boys and girls in the classroom is nothing but ridicule,” he added. Where I teach, boys and girls study in the same class as in the past. Whenever any Taliban delegation comes, we will close the curtain to show them that the boys and girls are separated.

However, Bilal Karimi rejected these views and said that the Islamic Emirate is never against girls’ education. On the contrary, the Emirate is trying to provide a safe and secure environment for girls to study. It works nationwide. The Islamic Emirate is currently on a procedure, there is a lot of hope that the gates of schools will be opened for girls soon.

Just as a number of religious groups, such as the Taliban, have a strict interpretation of religious rulings, some theologians, unlike these groups, offer a softer interpretation of religion, which is why the strict definition and interpretation of the Taliban has been criticized by most theologians.

One of the religious scholars, who did not want to be named due to restrictions and problems, says: “Islam has given women the right to human freedom, freedom of thought, freedom of thought and decision equivalent to men.” Women in the era of the Prophet and the four caliphs of Islam “Islam was present in various social sectors, such as men. “He added: “Islam that women have the right to work, the right to education, the right to property, the right to inherit, the right to marry, the right to travel The current situation where there is immunity has been said without Muharram. As he has given other civil rights, he added, “There is no difference between a man and a woman in legal capacity. “Men can have the same qualifications in all contracts and transactions. Just as men can do business, women can do business without any difference,” she said. In the time of the Prophet, on the battlefield of Uhud, Hunain and Khaybar, next to the Prophet (PBUH), wielded swords shoulder to shoulder, which means that women in the arena “Military women can work and can work in the Ministries of Defense and Interior today.” When a woman named Samra daughther of Nahik in Mecca is responsible for collecting taxes and controlling the market, it shows that women have the right to work outside.

The Taliban always use the equation of Islamic Sharia in their statements, but they have not defined the framework of Islamic Sharia (rule) in its general sense until today. For instance, they say that there is no problem with women working and studying, but within the framework of Islamic law, That the Taliban apply any of their harsh interpretations to the people under the guise of Islamic law if anyone opposes them, in fact, they are opposition to Islam and opposition to Islam is punishable by either death or flogging.

The Taliban announced a general amnesty after it came to power, but reports from various provinces indicate that the group has arrested a large number of men and women who are civil society activists or have held key positions in the former regime. They have been killed and the fate of others is still unknown, which is why Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights and the World Organization for the Prevention of Torture have issued a joint statement on human rights abuses in Afghanistan since the Taliban came to power. The Taliban have not lost any time in this regard. The Taliban have been gradually destroying all of Afghanistan’s human rights progress over the past 20 years, the statement said, adding that despite the Taliban’s repeated claims of human rights abuses in the country, Afghan civilians have been deliberately killed. The organizations also point to restrictions on women, freedom of expression, and social restrictions in Taliban-held Afghanistan.

The international community cautiously monitors the Taliban and claims that they will not recognize the Taliban unless they comply with their demands for respect for human rights, freedom of expression and women’s rights.

But Bilal Karimi says: “The Islamic Emirate is committed to all women’s rights that are in accordance with Islamic standards and the wishes of our people, and God willing, no case will be violated. The Islamic Emirate is honest in this area.”

Many Afghans believe that the Taliban and the group’s ideas have not changed much from the past, and that the group does not want Afghan women to continue their education. Although the group pretends to have changed, their behavior over the past two months, especially towards women and girls, has shown that they are still living with the thoughts of twenty years ago.


by meenahabib


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