Taliban Takeover: What does it mean for Women’s Rights?

Taliban Takeover:  What does it mean for Womens Rights?

Ayah Mufleh, Freshman Staff Writer

According to an article titled “The Fragility of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan,” for the last 20 years, women have enjoyed “a measure” of freedom in their extremist Middle Eastern country. They gained equality under the 1964 constitution; however, whenever the Taliban would regain temporary power, those rights were restricted once again.  What will happen now, most wonder, with the Taliban in complete control? 

Most will say that it is the Islamic laws the Taliban preaches, yet these restrictions against women are nowhere to be found in the Quran. The equality of men and women is mentioned a multitude of times within the scripture — verse 9:71. The Quran presents an example of this: “The believers, men and women, are allies (awliya) of one another.”  The Taliban weaponizes Islam, and wants to show that what the majority consider harsh acts toward women, is what Allah, God ordered them to do.  Shouldn’t this negative treatment against women and girls in Afghanistan be considered oppression? Ava Flowers, a freshman, who was already aware of the current situation says, “The rules Afghan women are expected to abide by are very oppressive. These rules keep women from living their full lives like they should be able to, which is saddening to many people around the world. Oppression against women has been around for decades and many are fighting against this constant misogyny.” 

Some of the harshest rules that were put back into place by the Taliban include: absolutely no access to education, no option to work, prohibitions against receiving healthcare from a male, and restrictions against going out in public without a male chaperone. If an Afghan woman or girl breaks any of these commands, journalist Heather Barr with hrw.org explains that punishments include stoning, lashing, and amputations.

If the Taliban remains in power, gaining back the rights that Afghan women and girls continue to lose is uncertain; however, the new generation of women are not tolerating this abuse any longer. Imtiaz Tyab with CBS News covered a story on sixth-graders in Kabul, Afghanistan, emphasizing their “desire to learn” even with the schools being off-limits. This open refusal to bend to the wishes of the Taliban provides everyone with a little more hope that things will change for the better. This reporter posed a question to freshman Adam Pogacnik — a fellow HUB writer — on the idea of women maintaining their independence with the Taliban back in power. He first mentioned that he knew of the Taliban because of their acts on 9/11, but wasn’t aware of what they were doing to women, so after this reporter briefly explained what is happening in that part of the Middle East, Pogacnik responded: “It definitely sounds like an extremely dangerous and unjust situation for the women in Afghanistan, and I think it all depends on the course of how long the Taliban will rule to tell what other basic rights will be taken from/given back to women.” 

Surrounded by such little hope and drowning in constant obstacles, the women and girls in Afghanistan know that nothing will change without their voice and willingness to fight.  Their fight is the key to determining what the ‘uncertain’ future will look like for Afghani women from this point on.

 

Sources 

Imtiaz Tyab “Afghan girls determined to return to school — but their future remains uncertain”, CBS News, October 22, 2021 www.cbsnews.com

Heather Barr “The Fragility of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan” , Inkstick Media August 17, 2021 www.hrw.org

The Holy Quaran