Wednesday, 1 February, 2023

Afghan women returning to dark ages

Afghan women returning to dark ages

The Talibans have come to power in Afghanistan about one year and six months ago. Earlier, the US military and its allies invaded Afghanistan and ousted the Talibans from power in 2001. However, later, the entire scenario changed and the Talibans retreated. The US authority resorted to talks with the Talibans. Due to long discussion with the US, the Talibans got an opportunity to come back to power. However, they informed that they would follow a liberal policy. Talibans’ ruling period from 1996 to 2001 was criticized for harsh measures.

But recently some incidents are giving a sign that they would like to return to their period of tough rule. A woman Sadaf by name was beaten in an inhuman manner in an ‘offence’ for conversation with another man without guardian. Sadaf was beaten and lost her sense. She said to the Alzazira, ‘I do not agree to marry the complainer’s son so, such behavior has been done with me from grievance. Sadaf said to him, ‘What is the right of a woman that I know. So, if I do not like to marry your son then nobody can force me. In such talk he, being gone mad began to talk nonsense.’

Sadaf also said, “We do not know how many days we have to live remaining invisible. But we must find a way out to become free. Afghanistan is now a large prison where the Talibans can punish anybody without any cause.”

In the past month, 39 males including 12 females were beaten publicly. A representative of the Talibans said to BBC, ‘They have been punished for various crimes including sexual immorality, dacoity and homosexuality.’ They brought about these incidents in the decade of ’90s. Over 12 years old woman have been prohibited to go to school. Later they have stopped woman-learning in the university. Only three month ago thousand women learners in Afghan gave admission test in the university. Neda Muhammad Nadim, Taliban Higher Education Affairs Minister has said to the TV, ‘The women used to come in the varsity as if they have come to the marriage ceremony.’ This decision has been taken on December 4. This is a manifestation of Afghan women’s plights. Virtually, Afghan women are returning to the dark ages.

The Talibans have prohibited women’s work in NGOs. The matter of dress-rule has also been brought to justify their harsh policy. The UN and the USA have criticized this decision as a gross violation of international law. Foreign Minister Anthony Rinken of USA has said, ‘The women’s role is important in human assistance programme. This decision will bring disaster for the Afghan people.’ The Save the Children officials have informed that they will discuss with the Talibans about the matter. They will close down their activities from Afghanistan if the Taliban government does not give the opportunity to work to women.

Women who were formerly employed are now jobless in Afghanistan. The women workers have been compelled to give up their jobs. A woman named Wahida has said to the AFP, a news agency, ‘No school, no work—at least such a place needs for us where we can pass time and talk freely. We are gasping for breath living in the room all day long.’ After being departure of Taliban in 2001 Afghan created an educated class of women. In the next they brought up responsibility in various sectors of the society. Many of them also received places in the cabinet. The Taliban taking power in 2021 changed entirely the scene. The dreams of women of being educated have been broken. As a result, the sadness and other mental problems are enhancing among the woman and adolescent girls.

The Imam (leader) of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque and former chief of Al-Azhar Varsity Shawak Ahmed Attaaiv has said that the Talibans have taken a decision to close women’s higher education which does not suit to Islami Shariya law. Al-Azhar is considered as the best authority of Sunni Islam. The male and female all have been said to learn knowledge in Islam. The statement of the Imam has been published in the ‘Egypt Today’ and ‘Al-Ahram’.


Iqbal Hossain, Jhikargacha, Jashore