Since the Taliban takeover on Aug. 15, the Islamic extremist group has been violating women’s rights and targeting female activists despite promising the contrary, leaving many to wonder why Western allies have seemingly abandoned the people of Afghanistan.
Broken promises: Despite the Taliban promising to uphold women’s rights in Afghanistan, their claims did not last even 100 days into their occupation. Many international activists had anticipated this due to the group’s recurring past offenses against women.
In August, Afghani women rushed to stores to buy burqas and niqabs out of fear of punishment by the group, with many of them hiding at home for weeks. By September, the Taliban had seized the Women’s Affairs Ministry in Kabul and beat protestors with whips.
In October, female activists began disappearing.
In November, women such as lecturer Frozan Safi started turning up dead.
Safi was nearly unrecognizable due to the bullet wounds that left her face severely damaged. She was reportedly finding a way to escape the country when she was murdered, lured by members of the Taliban who tricked her and other women.
Journalist Nilofar Ayoubi is one of the activists who was able to leave Afghanistan after being blacklisted by the Taliban for consistently speaking out against them. “I want to let the world know about the current situation,” she said.
Under new media laws passed this week, Afghani women are banned from appearing in all entertainment programs, including soap operas. All female news anchors must wear a hijab and all foreign programs which promote “foreign culture and values” are forbidden.
Only some girls have been able to return to school across the country. Countless women have lost their jobs, leaving the future of women in the workforce uncertain.
An ongoing humanitarian crisis: As the people of Afghanistan continue to suffer under the Taliban, many wonder why Western countries like the U.S. have not done more to provide humanitarian aid.
As the Taliban’s list of human rights violations grows, Afghani American novelist Nadia Hashmi continues to raise awareness through Twitter, asking questions such as: “Where is the international community on this? The apathy is pathetic.”
Since August, the already impoverished people of Afghanistan have faced further financial pressures, with many families having no other choice but to marry off their adolescent daughters to collect dowries.
“I had no other way to feed my family and pay off my debt. What else could I have done?” one father lamented.
An envoy from the U.S. is set to meet with Taliban leaders next week to discuss counterterrorism and humanitarian aid, reported Reuters.
NPR and CBS have provided readers with some ways to help support Afghani refugees in the U.S. Helping Hand for Relief and Development and the International Rescue Committee are also dedicated to the cause.
Featured Image via DW News
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