Afghan women devastated by Taliban decrees

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Though Taliban’s policies have always been resulting in denying human rights on the whole, but during their comeback to power, they are specifically targeting women and depriving them of whatever little rights they had secured in Afghanistan before the Taliban in Pushtun-dominated culture of  the strife-torn country.

Since their coming into power in August 2021, they have issued various decrees, mostly again women, to restrict their role in social participation and limit it to the confines of home. Their latest decree in which they have ordered women to not only remain indoor but  wear full burqa, covering their face as well when in public places, has created further unrest among the women folk, who have come on the roads despite threats and harassment by the Taliban rulers, who failed to fulfill their promises to international community to ensure human rights.

They want women to be covered in a typical Pashtoon-culture burqa from head-to-toe while visiting Public places. Not only this, they should be escorted by male member of a family when going out of home; otherwise they can face the wrath of the Taliban, who have always created hurdles for women. With their coming into power they have done away with the Women Ministry and women Commission to curtail women’s power and have also taken a score of decision to remove them from decision-making positions. Even their role in legislation has been totally curtailed leave alone other fields of life.

Their Supreme Leader Hibatullah Akhundzada is not willing to show any respect for  women’s rights which are being denied to the women folk, who have been turned into virtual salves after the Taliban regime has become intact in Afghanistan.

Once again, the Taliban in Afghanistan are of the view that women should wear head to toe burqa “because it commands respect and is a traditional outfit for women in Afghanistan”.  Now these words by their Supreme Leader Akhundzada clearly show that they want to enforce cultural norms on women more.  It may be recalled when last time they were at the helm of affairs in the 1990s, they were doing such odd things and they have not change a little from their earlier positions. Rather they have become further strict and limited in their approach to women’s rights.

All their attention is on what women do, what they wear, where they are and how to make them slaves and confine to the four walls with no say in life affairs. One wonders they are becoming further harsher when it comes to women’s rights.

They have definitely relaxed their stance on Human rights but a bit but they are strict on women, whom they do not consider to humans at all. The people of Afghanistan are dying of hunger with no food available to them. But they are obsessed with how to contain women.

This is very ironical of them and shows how desperate they are to enforce their views on women, who find it difficult to live in such obstacles. The United Nation and other world bodies are criticizing the Taliban but that is not enough, something solid and practical needs to be done by the international community to make Taliban respect women’s rights.

We are living in 21st century marked by enhanced awareness and insurance of women’s rights but such practices on the ground on part of a handful regime of Taliban call for drastic action on part of the world.

But the world should do it with utmost care as Taliban are difficult to handle and they must be handled with utmost care in this regard, so that they can be convinced that they are doing wrong things. They only want women to be confined their role to doing the domestic chores but apart from these, they do not want to see women in other places except the foul walls of their houses.

They did not allow girls to seek education and to go to schools and colleges; their jobs have been snatched from them.

They are only allowed to be teachers but that too within limited levels. Even health sectors jobs have been a no-go area for Afghan women.  Just imagine, the Taliban even barred from education sector what to speak of other fields which ensure women’s empowerment. The neighbouring countries especially Pakistan government must make concerted efforts in this regard. It is very unfortunate the previous regime of Imran Khan did not criticize the Taliban for their anti-women’s rights steps and instead were encouraging them by their statements like IK’s statement on the line of IOC conference in Pakistan in which he said that women’s rights and human rights are two different things which encouraged the Taliban regime which is already out to destroy women’s role in society.

As an independent observer, one would definitely denounce the Taliban decision to enforce the cultural norms in the name of Islam because the burqa they have made mandatory for women is not existing in the entire Muslim world, it is only limited to Pashtoon culture, so one would agree with critics who say by doing so, the Taliban are very mercilessly  infringing upon the freedoms of the 20 million Afghan women population.

The people of Afghanistan are in urgent financial help as they are facing pangs of hunger due to food shortage and also other basic needs of life like medicines etc and such anti-women steps by Taliban will shy away the international community from helping and financing the Afghanistan’s Taliban regime due to Taliban’s anti human rights moves and the country will drown into further financial quagmire.