The Taliban has recently imposed fresh restrictions on women following the withdrawal of the United States of America’s troops from Afghanistan.
The Taliban, which refers to itself as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a group of extremists who aim to enforce sharia laws in all parts of Afghanistan with no regard for the fundamental human rights of the people. The Taliban ruled about three-quarters of Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 and enforced the sharia laws that banned and heavily regulated the use of media, paintings, and photography, etc.
The Taliban’s return to government has not come with any reforms; rather, the group has enforced several new restrictions for women, including full-covered hijabs, etc.
A resident of one of the newly captured districts said “They want to impose the restrictions that were imposed on women under their rule and (they want women) not to leave our houses without a male companion and wearing hijab.”
In the first reign of the Taliban, they expected women to be covered head-to-toe while men were asked not to shave their beards. However, when the new Afghan government emerged, young girls could go to school, and women could take part more in the economy. Now, following the Taliban’s rule of not allowing women to go out without a male companion, about 30% of the country’s entire workforce will be lost.
Last year, the Taliban deceived the USA and promised to recognize the changes and human rights of Afghans, and pretended to be open to new policies. However, this was only a front, as the group continues to operate the same policies and ideologies as it did in 1996.
In Balkh, a resident says “salons were ordered not to shave or trim beards” under the Taliban’s beliefs.
The Taliban has also been controlling the press and media following their emergence into power. A local radio station in Balkh district, the only one, was forced to broadcast the Taliban’s chants and messages instead of other information after the group captured the district.
This is dangerous, as the Taliban may decide to cut off the whole of Afghanistan from the rest of the world by ensuring the press does not have any freedom to report the events and incidents.
This is a major setback for media houses, reporters, and journalists in Afghanistan.
It is also dangerous for young women and girls who have been used as a major pawn by the Taliban. International leaders and organizations need to intervene and protect the fundamental human rights of Afghans, especially women.
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