Afghan women fear dark times when the Taliban comes

Afghan women fear dark times when the Taliban comes 4

Afghan women fear dark times when the Taliban comes

Witnessing chaotic scenes on the streets after the Taliban’s lightning attacks across the country, in just a few minutes, everything changed for Zahra, a 26-year-old girl living in Herat, the second largest city.

Zahra grew up when the Taliban’s harsh rule in Afghanistan was overthrown in 2001, when women dared to dream of going to school and working.

Like many other residents of Herat, Zahra, her parents and five siblings sat huddled at home, worried about the future and feeling scared to go out.

`I was in deep shock. I am a woman who has worked very hard and always tried to learn and advance, and now I have to hide at home?`, Zahra shared.

Afghan women in the capital Kabul in April 2020.

After a lightning attack campaign and victories like splitting bamboo in recent days, the Taliban now controls more than two-thirds of the country, just two weeks before the US withdraws its last soldiers from the country.

During Taliban rule, Afghan women were not allowed to go to school, work, or even leave the house without a male relative.

There is currently no information about the above extreme measures being carried out in areas controlled by the Taliban.

Zahra stopped going to the office and switched to working from home about a month before the Taliban closed in on Herat.

Zahra listed some of the achievements of women in the past 20 years since the overthrow of the Taliban, including girls being able to go to school, women being able to participate in the apparatus of parliament, government and business.

Marianne O’Grady, deputy director of gender equality promotion organization CARE International in Kabul, said the progress Afghan women have made over the past two decades has been impressive, especially in urban areas.

`You cannot deprive millions of people of education. If women have to retreat behind walls and cannot go out like before, at least now they can educate their relatives, children and neighbors in

Zarmina Kakar, a 26-year-old feminist activist, commented that the achievements of Afghan women in the past 20 years are like a bird working hard to build a nest, but then having to watch helplessly as the nest is destroyed by others.

`Today, once again, I feel that if the Taliban comes to power, we will return to the dark days,` Kakar said.

Afghan women fear dark times when the Taliban comes

Transforming control of Afghan territory over the past 4 years.

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