Ground Report | New Delhi: Afghan girls going to school; A day after the Taliban took the city and fears that women’s rights in the country would be greatly eroded under the new regime, girls are shown going to school in Kabul wearing traditional Islamic attire.
Afghan girls going to school
Walking in pairs down the dusty road, girls were seen in white-headed dupatta and traditional black shalwar kameez as they headed to school on Monday, as young women unsure of their future ‘all in a wink’ described the nightmare of ‘seeing something crumbling’.
The scene – which many feared would be banned under the Taliban – was filmed this week by an AFP cameraman, just days after fighters from the radical Islamist group captured the city following the collapse of government forces and local militias.
“We want to progress like other countries,” said student Roqia. “And we expect the Taliban to maintain security. We don’t want war, we want peace in our country.”
Due to its proximity to the Iranian border, the ancient Silk Road city of Herat has long been a cosmopolitan exception to the more conservative centres. Women and girls walked the streets more freely, attending a large number of schools and colleges in the city famous for its poetry and art.
However, its long-term future remains uncertain. When the Taliban controlled Afghanistan in the 1990s, women, and girls were mostly denied education and employment under a harsher version of Sharia law. Full-face coverings became mandatory in public, and women could not leave the house without a male partner.
Waiting for Taliban to kill me
Zarifa Ghafari, 27, said on Monday, ‘I am waiting for him to come here, no one is going to help me or my family. I am just sitting with my family and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where will I go?’
ALSO READ: Where do Taliban get money, Weapons from?
In the weeks following its return to power, the Taliban’s leadership attempted to paint a softer image than it had last ruled Afghanistan between 1996 and 2001, but women struggled to believe such assurances.
Other reports said women were being forced to wear face coverings and burqas, while Al Jazeera reported on Monday that the extremist group told female employees at some banks not to return to their jobs. Earlier in the week, a beauty salon owner was seen painting pictures of female models outside his shop, and a video of a young girl crying about the loss of her future went viral.