‘I cry day and night’: the drama of Afghan women facing the Taliban – 08/16/21 – World

“I do not believe that the world has abandoned Afghanistan. Our friends are going to be killed. They are going to kill us. Our women will no longer have any rights,” lamented an Afghan passenger who had just disembarked from her native country in India. . . .

Their desperation is shared by many, especially women, in Afghanistan. They fear a backlash in their rights with the country once again under the control of the extremist Taliban group.

Some of those who fled Taliban-controlled areas said activists demanded families hand over unmarried girls and women to become wives of their fighters.

Muzhda, 35, a single woman who fled Parwan to Kabul with her two sisters, said she would kill herself to allow the Taliban to force her into marriage.

“I cry day and night,” she told AFP news agency.

Women in Taliban-controlled areas also described being forced to wear burqas – a full-body piece of clothing with a narrow eye-level screen that can be seen through – and activists beat people for having violates social rules.

Life under the Taliban in the 1990s required women to wear the garment. Radical Islamists have limited education to girls over 10 and brutal punishments have been imposed, including public executions.

Sunday – a weekday in Muslim countries, a tweet from former United Nations Youth Ambassador Aisha Khurram about the situation at Kabul University went viral.

“Some professors said goodbye to their students when everyone was evacuated from Kabul University this morning … and maybe we don’t graduate as well as thousands of students across. the country … “, she wrote on the social network. network.

Also on Twitter, Lotfullah Najafizada, head of the Afghan news service Tolo News, posted an image of a man covering photos of women painted on a wall in Kabul with paint.

On Sunday, the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital and the entire country.

The extremist group’s flash offensive comes just months after US President Joe Biden announced that he would withdraw US troops from the country, with a full withdrawal slated for September.

Since then, the Taliban have been gaining more and more ground and enforcing their rules in the areas they control.

Hello, the case of the neighborhood where the midwife Nooria Haya (not her real name), 29 years old, lives.

In an interview with the BBC, she said her workdays regularly included meetings and discussions with male doctors. But recently she found out that such interactions between people of the opposite sex were prohibited.

According to Nooria, this was the first order the Taliban gave them when the group took control of the area.

“There are a lot of restrictions now. When I leave the house, I have to wear the burqa, as ordered by the Taliban, and a man has to accompany me,” he said.

For the first time, then, she could feel under her skin what her life would be like now.

Like Haya, many young women had never witnessed how the Taliban delivered justice and ruled areas under their control – the extremist group ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, when the country was overrun by the international troops led by the United States.

“Suddenly most of our freedoms were taken away from us,” Nooria said. “It’s so difficult. But we have no choice. They are brutal. We have to do what they say. They use Islam for their own purposes. We are all Muslims, but their beliefs are different. “

To come up

Since the Taliban were ousted from power, women have returned to positions in public life, constituting a quarter of parliament.

The number of girls in primary education has risen to 50%, while at the end of secondary school they are only 20%.

Women’s life expectancy has increased from 57 to 66 years. Compared to other countries, Afghanistan’s statistics are poor, but there have undoubtedly been improvements.

However, now there is only the fear of going back.

In an interview with the BBC, former parliamentarian Farzana Kochai said people were visibly scared: “I don’t know how to measure the (threat), the fear that they have in their hearts, each of them. They face a situation that they can’t believe is happening and they think, “Where to go. [vamos], what has to be done?’

“We are all faced [o mesmo] and we thought ‘we might lose our lives’ now, because no one is responsible for what is happening. “

A resident of Kabul, Mahbouba Seraj has long campaigned for the rights of women and children in the country.

She told the BBC it would be no use if all the women left the country, adding that she was ready to work with the Taliban to try to change things within the new structure.

“If Afghan women, those who are involved and who have worked – if we could just sit at a table and really talk to these people (activists)… they can realize the resources they have with women in Afghanistan, because before that, before the Taliban, neither the world nor our republic really saw the strength of the Afghan woman, ”she said.

“They never used us the way they should, never handled it the way they should. So I hope they use us now. If they do, then that’s fine. Everyone’s fine. , then I can be fine, “he added. .

A Taliban spokesperson said the group will respect women and girls will continue to have access to education.

But according to Afghan teacher and human rights activist Pashtana Durrani, what the Taliban says about women’s rights and what they do in practice are two different things.

Speaking to BBC News, she asked for clarification of women’s rights acceptable to the Islamic group.

Durrani said he needed to talk, even though he feared for his life.

“I have to fight today so that the next generation does not have to face all this conflict.”

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