There was a reason why Afghanistan was never supposed to fall to the hands of the Taliban. They are terrorists. And more than that, they believe that women are not equal to men. They violate countless human rights. Women should not get an education. Women should not be able to work. Women should not be able to dress the way that they want.
The moment that Afghanistan fell, women throughout the country cried. They knew that their lives were forever changed.
Now, the Taliban promised that they had changed. They swore up and down that women would have more rights. Of course, every country around the world knew that this was lip service. They would say and do whatever was necessary for other world leaders to accept them as the rightful leaders of Afghanistan. It was the only way for them to gain access to the banks, the humanitarian aid coming in from other countries, and more.
Taliban leaders have announced to the world that women are “free,” but they have also issued a decree that outlines the rights that women actually have under the decree.
If we’re supposed to be impressed, we’re not.
Mullah Haibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s supreme leader, issued the decree, which has banned child marriage and identified that “no one can force a woman to marry by coercion or pressure.”
That’s certainly a step in the right direction since child marriage and forced marriages are common, especially throughout rural Afghanistan. CBS reported that for centuries, girls have been given to various tribes and families as a way to settle debts and resolve disputes.
The Taliban has declared that “a woman is not a property, but a noble and free human being.”
Okay, but what about some of the other rights that women should be granted? Many women activists are urging the international community to demand more from the leaders.
CBS reported that “Dozens of women gathered on Sunday in Kabul to express their dissatisfaction with the decree issued by the Islamic Emirate’s supreme leader regarding Afghan women, saying more inclusivity is needed.”
It seems that the decree was lacking when it came to some of the more important things that women have been fighting for – including the right to be educated and the right to work.
Amnesty International has been extremely vocal regarding Afghan women. This includes reinstating the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and, as Agnes Callamard, the secretary-general for the organization explained, ensuring that “service providers can work freely and without fear of retaliation.”
It’s clear that the Taliban isn’t really interested in changing their ways. They are a male-dominated society, and they don’t want to give any more rights to women than they absolutely have to. As Callamard pointed out, “It defies belief that the Taliban threw open prison doors across the country, with no thought of the risks that convicted perpetrators pose to the women and girls they victimized.”
Women are in serious danger, not only by the convicted perpetrators who are now roaming the country freely but also by the government that is supposed to be protecting them.
If the Taliban ever wants to be seen as the rightful leaders of Afghanistan, they’re going to have to abandon a number of their outdated beliefs when it comes to how they view women. Otherwise, it’s only inevitable that another war will occur.