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  • 작성자 사진Lee Noo-ri

[Society] Under the Taliban, the Future of Women Is Being Obscured

No. 154 / Oct 18, 2021

The Taliban is in power in Afghanistan again after 20 years. The Taliban is a Sunni Islamic armed political organization that was formed in 1994. It was an organization that started as a military force and dominated Afghanistan since 1996. Osama bin Laden committed a terrorist attack in 2001, and the Taliban protected him. As a result, the United States (U.S.) attacked the Taliban, which collapsed in November of that year. Since then, U.S. troops have been stationed in Afghanistan. The U.S. military intensively attacked the Taliban, but the war continued. As the war continued for nearly 20 years, calls were made for a U.S. military withdrawal. The U.S. government completed its withdrawal in August, 2021. During the withdrawal, the Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15.

Since the Taliban came to power, concerns about women’s safety have grown. Women were treated harshly under the former Taliban regime. In 1994, after the Taliban first took control, women could no longer receive higher education, and employment was regulated. Going out was regulated, and it was mandatory to wear burka (clothes covering the whole body and covering the eyes with mesh). If a woman did not wear a burka, she was stoned to death. Compulsory marriages and child marriages are also widely performed. After 2001, Afghanistan became a generally free society. Women were able to receive higher education and perform jobs formerly denied to them. However, women’s human rights, which had improved, fell instantly when the Taliban regained power.

The Taliban initially said that they would respect women’s rights within the Islamic framework. It declared that it would rule in accordance with Islamic Sharia law. However, Sharia law can be interpreted very differently by the government, and experts are concerned that extreme interpretations of Sharia law will limit the rights of women and girls. As experts worried, the Taliban initially allowed women to wear hijabs, but announced a new law requiring women to wear an abaya (clothes covering the entire body) and a niqab (clothes covering the face except for the eyes). Restrictions on movement have also been raised. Women must be accompanied by male guardians to enter public places. In Afghanistan, women are slowly being erased from the public sphere.

Furthermore, employed women, especially female judges, are being threatened with murder and are going into hiding. Women are protesting, demanding the guarantee of women’s rights, but the Taliban is responding by violent suppression. Anita Ramasastry, Chair of the Coordination Committee of United Nations (UN) Special Procedures says: “We have documented that the Taliban advances came with summary executions, disappearances, restrictions on women, media and cultural life. This is not ancient history. This is earlier this month, and this is today.


 

By Lee Noo-ri AG Senior Editor

cabello1706@ajou.ac.kr

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