Women and girls in Afghanistan face a very uncertain and frightening future, coinciding with the takeover of the country by the “Taliban” movement, after the collapse of the US-backed government and the exit of US forces.
Afghan women fear that their rights will be restricted, as was the case 20 years ago when the movement ruled Afghanistan.
The UK newspaper, THE HILL, spoke to many Afghan women who requested that their names be withheld for fear that the Taliban would target them, their families, and their colleagues, and humanitarian groups provided specific accounts of women in Afghanistan.
Women have expressed shock, fear, frustration, and challenge in the rapidly changing environment in their country, having struggled for their freedoms following the overthrow of Taliban rule in 2001, as Afghan women have become involved in society as entrepreneurs, athletes, politicians, policemen, academics, artists and journalists, among other professions.
A video clip circulated on social media showed at least four women demonstrating in the street against the Taliban, with banners calling for their rights to be respected.
An Afghan female from “Women for Women” International expressed her concern that the strides women have made over the past 20 years may be reversed, pointing out that Taliban fighters are searching house to house looking for government employees and NGOs, stressing that women have become unsafe in their homes, too.
According to some observers of the situation on the ground, the “Taliban” has already imposed strict restrictions on women in some areas, such as locking them at home unless accompanied by a man.