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Afghan Women On What’s At Stake For Women In Afghanistan

Zoohra, 60, holds photos of her daughter who she said was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
Zoohra, 60, holds photos of her daughter who she said was killed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

The Taliban, now in control of the country of Afghanistan, has promised that women will be treated well under its new government. At a public appearance last week, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid vowed that women’s rights would be honored, within the framework of Islamic law. The extremist militant group says women and girls will still be able to attend school and join the government.

Advocates working on the ground say those promises are nothing more than a publicity stunt. They point to the women’s rights violations under the Taliban, not just when the group was last in power, but also in the past year.

Women living in the Afghan provinces where the Taliban had already taken control have been the victims of targeted beatings and killings. They’ve now been banned countrywide from leaving the house without a male guardian. The price of burqas, which women are required to wear in public under Taliban rule, surged ten-fold as the group’s control spread.

Though women are largely off the streets, they’ve been leading protests against the new government, unwilling to sacrifice the massive gains in rights they’ve earned themselves in the past two decades.

What’s at stake for the girls and women of Afghanistan? And what can be done to protect women’s rights moving forward? We talk to a panel of Afghan women for their perspectives.

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5