Afghan women fearful as the Taliban returns

In the last month, one of the U.S.’s longest wars came to an end as President Biden recalled American troops and workers in Afghanistan. On Aug. 15, President Ashraf Ghani fled the country in the midst of war shortly after the Afghan government collapsed. Since then, the Taliban has re-seized control of the country and it’s caused widespread panic among the country’s people.

For the women who’ve yet to leave the country, it’s sparked concerns in regards to their rights.

The Taliban is infamous for their restrictions on women, and for many Afghan women now, it could mean going back to old ways. “I just saw a headline today in the news about mothers fearing for their daughters’ education and futures,” teacher Holly Miller said.

“The Taliban has made statements saying that they have become more progressive,” teacher Matthew O’Neill said. He went on to explain that the Taliban has promised that they would be giving more freedom to women and girls in Afghanistan.

However, it’s not very likely that this is going to be the case. There is a notable disconnect between what the Taliban has said and what their actions have been.

Many commanders have supposedly closed down a multitude of girls’ schools, reflecting the Taliban’s previous ban on most of women’s education in the country during the 2000s. Reports also came in showing a large number of women being forced to resign from their jobs, also reflecting of their past.

Why is it so important? Why is it so crucial that the media reports on the rights of women globally?

“Women make up half the population of the world,” Miller said, and she’s right. According to StatisticsTimes, women represent 49.58% of the world population. It’s important to recognize that, throughout the world, the rights of women is a touchy subject.

In some places like the U.S., women have the similar rights to men. Women are able to go to school, get a job, and run for office. But for places like Afghanistan, it’s intentionally being stripped away from women. As MLK Jr. said, injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.