Ground Report | New Delhi: Restrictions on women in Taliban rule; The Taliban have taken control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Most of Afghanistan’s territory is now under Taliban control. Remembering the first Taliban regime, many Afghans are fleeing the country. Many countries have pulled out their diplomats and the process of people leaving Afghanistan continues.
This was in 1997, the early days of the Taliban’s rule in Afghanistan. As we were moving closer to the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, our heartbeats were pounding. There were all those blessings on my tongue which I had remembered from childhood till now.
In this situation, we crossed the deserted entry point on the border without checking any documents and entered Afghanistan. Here our car stopped in front of a single storey building on the left side of the road.
This was the place where we were told that it was here that we would be checked according to the strict standards set by the Taliban for entry into Afghanistan.
Restrictions on women in Taliban rule
Under the Taliban, women and girls were discriminated against in many ways for the ‘crime’ of producing a girl. The Taliban implemented their own version of Islamic Sharia law. Women and girls were:
- Banned from going to school or studying
- Prohibited from working
- Prohibition on leaving the house without a male guardian
- Ban on showing your skin in public
- Restrictions on access to healthcare provided by men (women were forbidden to work, Healthcare was almost inaccessible)
- Banned from engaging in politics or speaking in public.
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There were many other ways of depriving them of their rights as well. Women were essentially invisible in public life, confined in their own homes. In Kabul, residents were ordered to cover their ground and first-floor windows so that the women inside could not be seen from the street. If a woman left the house, she was in a full-body veil (burqa), accompanied by a male relative: she had no freedom.
If he disobeyed these discriminatory laws, the punishments were harsh. A woman can be flogged for showing an inch or two of skin under the burqa of her entire body, beaten in an attempt to read, stoned to death if found guilty of adultery. (Restrictions on women in Taliban rule)
Rape and violence against women and girls were rampant. Afghan women were brutalized in law and in almost every aspect of their daily lives. A woman in Kabul cut off the tip of her thumb to apply nail polish, for example, in 1996.