- By Amy Suhana binti Mohamed Noor
The women in Afghanistan have had nowhere to go for protection since August 15 when the Taliban retook control of Kabul. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs is absent which left the women in Afghanistan vulnerable.
Under the Taliban rule, the women are not allowed to live alone, the women are denied access to education, lost their job, and being beaten on the streets for no clear reason. On September 17, while the Taliban’s Ministry of Education allowing schools to reopen, this only applies to male students. The women are not guaranteed that if they are able to go to school even under the Taliban rule of “according to Islamic principles” due to practical issues of the need to have different buildings or partition separating the male and female students.
When the Taliban interim cabinet was announced, a protest was organized by Hoda Khamosh to oppose an all-male member of the cabinet. The protestors want to emphasize on the importance of having women as a member of the cabinet should represent the women and to be able to voice out the struggles and issues related to women and children. However, the protesters were beaten with whips and sticks, thrown with tear gas, and gunfire was even released.
This issue has gotten an international reaction. The United States with Albania, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, European Union, Honduras, Guatemala, North Macedonia, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Senegal, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom has signed a joint statement expressing their concerns on the safety and security of the women in Afghanistan and they are ready to assist with humanitarian aid. Other countries such as South Korea, have also voiced their concerns, accepting Afghanistan refugees to their country and provide asylum and job opportunities.
The women’s role in society is important in contributing to the country’s economy, fighting for education, and human rights. Being denied education affects women to being unable to educate and have a better livelihood. The women are not able to get a job to sustain themselves and help their families. The restrictions have made women live without choices and vulnerable to abuses on the streets and even abusive families.
The safety and security of women in Afghanistan is a security issue. Hence, it is important for states to pay attention and help women who are in need and ensuring that women get the equal rights they deserve.
“Joint Statement on the Situation of Women and Girls in Afghanistan.” United States Department of State, 2021, www.state.gov/joint-statement-on-the-situation-of-women-and-girls-in-afghanistan/.
Afghanistan: Women in fear as Taliban go door to door in search of those who worked for “enemies.” (n.d.). Sky News. Retrieved September 24, 2021, from https://news.sky.com/story/afghanistan-women-in-fear-as-taliban-go-door-to-door-in-search-of-those-who-worked-for-enemies-12408049
Mukhtar, Ahmad. “As Taliban Robs Afghan Women and Girls of Work, School and Safety, the Most Vulnerable ‘Have Nowhere to Go.’” Www.cbsnews.com, 2021, www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-taliban-women-rights-girls-work-school-safety-post-us-withdrawal/. Accessed 24 Sept. 2021.