Afghan Women's Rights Activists Protest Taliban's "Gender Apartheid" from Exile

Afghan women's rights activists in exile launch international campaign against Taliban's oppressive policies denying women education, employment, and freedom. They vow to fight "gender apartheid" despite facing immense hardships.

Muhammad Jawad
New Update
Afghan Women's Rights Activists Protest Taliban's "Gender Apartheid" from Exile

Afghan Women's Rights Activists Protest Taliban's "Gender Apartheid" from Exile

Afghan women's rights activists, now living in exile, are launching an international campaign against the Taliban's oppressive policies that deny women education, employment, and freedom. Despite facing immense hardships, these activists are determined to fight against what they call "gender apartheid" in Afghanistan.

Since regaining control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed severe restrictions on women's rights. They have limited women's access to education and jobs, confining them primarily to domestic responsibilities. The U.S. State Department's 2023 human rights report highlighted the notable decline in women's rights under Taliban rule, criticizing their authoritarianism, human rights abuses, and disregard for the rule of law.

The dire circumstances faced by Afghan women are exemplified by the recent closure of women's markets in cities like Mazar-e-Sharif due to unpaid shop rents. Around 200 stores were affected by the closure of the Khadijah Al-Kubra market alone, reflecting the broader economic crisis exacerbated by the Taliban's restrictive policies. Many Afghan families have been plunged into deeper poverty as a result.

Women's voices are being systematically silenced in Afghanistan. The Taliban have banned women from being broadcast on radio in four provinces and prohibited them from calling radio stations during social discussion programs. They have also warned media outlets that women will be banned entirely from working in the media if they show their faces on television or in interviews. Only seven media houses are now managed by female workers, who face significant challenges.

Why this matters: The Taliban's oppressive policies against women in Afghanistan have far-reaching consequences, not only for the rights and well-being of Afghan women but also for the country's social, economic, and political future. The international community must continue to pressure the Taliban to respect women's rights and provide support to Afghan women fighting for their freedoms.

Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's spokesperson, emphasized that Afghan people's rights are defined by Islamic laws and cautioned against imposing Western values on other nations. However, the exiled Afghan women's rights activists remain undeterred in their campaign against the Taliban's "gender apartheid." As one activist stated, "We will not be silenced. We will continue to fight for the rights of Afghan women, no matter how difficult the path may be."

Key Takeaways

  • Afghan women activists launch campaign against Taliban's oppressive policies.
  • Taliban restrict women's access to education, jobs, and public spaces.
  • Closure of women's markets reflects broader economic crisis under Taliban rule.
  • Taliban ban women from media, silencing their voices in Afghanistan.
  • International community urged to pressure Taliban to respect women's rights.