The city, surrounded by grape garden beds and fruit orchards, has long been regarded by Afghans as a centre of culture. It was supposed to be developed over the previous two decades into a hub of free speech with a vibrant literary scene where single young people of both sexes might gather for tea in public places and be overheard reading their own poems to one another, but it just seems like a dream now. Apart from the other big issues, women in Afghanistan continue to suffer. Human rights violations against women and girls have increased substantially over the past year. The Taliban have consistently kept their commitment to keep women and girls out of public life, despite initial assurances that they would be let to enjoy their rights under Sharia law, including the ability to work and study. The de facto government has abolished the Ministry of Women’s Affairs and does not have any female cabinet members, essentially ending women’s political involvement. In addition, the Taliban forbade females from continuing their education above the sixth grade and prohibited women from pursuing the majority of occupations outside the house.
When the Taliban took over, they gave hope that they will not deprive women and girls from the rights but the majority of women and girls hid in their houses out of fear and a number of the city’s most courageous women risked to demonstrate against the Taliban’s ban on girls’ education and limitations on their movement. Women who were protesting in the street stated that they wanted to continue going to their work. This is not the case now. Since, the world’s attention has been diverted from Afghanistan now, the situation is becoming worse there again. Recently a lot of cases have been repoted of the girls not going or allowed to go to school and being forced marry. Early child marriage is again rising there.
Women are subject to strict limitations imposed by the Taliban. Since the withdrawal of international powers, Afghanistan’s aid-dependent economy has crumbled, leaving hundreds of thousands without work and half of its 38 million population hungry.
Research Associate, Pakistan House