The women of Afghanistan have been brave enough to fight for their rights ‘to get an education’ and will continue asking for their very legitimate demands.
The Taliban banned university education for women and girls on December 20 last year, which until then was continuing in segregated male-female classrooms. Secondary education for girls had topped long before this announcement. The Islamic Emirate’s emphasis on barring women from attending universities and other educational institutions is not abiding by the Shari laws and applying the Islamic Hijab.
According to UNICEF, some 850,000 girls have been prevented from attending secondary education since the Taliban took over Kabul. They had pledged human rights will be respected and women will be allowed to get an education and work during the peace talks with the United States in Doha Talks in 2020.
However, the Taliban never fulfilled those promises, and things rapidly changed for the worse for the people of Afghanistan, for women and girls in particular. The outbreak of the Russia-Ukraine war in February 2021 became a new priority and Afghanistan gradually started fading from the minds of the international community.
While schools shut their doors, women were not allowed to join office and work and were not expected to be seen sharing public spaces with men. Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai, the Taliban deputy minister of foreign affairs, had said in Kabul in September last year that women must get an education, but the views of hardliners prevailed.
In September 2021, women protested against the Taliban government’s gender-based policies in Herat which soon spread to other major cities. The Taliban threatened them and even used violence in some cases. Subsequently, the Ministry of the Interior issued a notice banning demonstrations without prior permission.
Following the announcement of the recent decrees barring women from working with non-governmental organizations, attending universities, or appearing in public places, it is apparent that the Taliban will not compromise on their stand on women’s position in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, the international community could only express “hope” or condemn the Taliban’s treatment of women in Afghanistan. This shows how the international community abandoned not only the people of Afghanistan but also women.