“Be ashamed!”. A Brief History of Afghan Women’s Rights
Successive statements by the Taliban government do not give women in Afghanistan any illusions. Sharia begins to wrap them around them like a tight burqa glued to the body. Will you be able to take a little freedom through a small check box next to your eyes?
“Shame on you! Shame on you!” she said emphatically on TRT World, accusing the international community of sitting like spectators in the theater watching as the Taliban regain their stronghold in her homeland. Her voice, her eyes are like a magnet. I play the recording several times.
This is Mahbouba Seraj, one of the most important voices in defense of Afghan women’s rights. When this extraordinary woman is speaking, the world rises to listen. She is over 70 years old, but even the Taliban is struck by her strength. The last time she left for the US was when the Taliban was in power. She returned in 2003, founding and running the Afghan Women’s Development Center. This time she didn’t want to leave Kabul. “I have to be here for the women, I can’t leave them alone.” Her angry appeal to the international community came from the world’s major media.
“According to the teachings of Islam”
“I remember how 25 years ago, women in Afghanistan were de facto under house arrest and often forced to paint over their windows so that no one could see inside or outside. Some friends of my parents who once held good positions were forced to wander around streets in the burqas, selling everything they owned or begging to survive, “she said.
Although more than two weeks ago, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid publicly assured that the new Afghan government would respect women’s rights “in line with the teachings of Islam,” most Afghan women are under no illusions that it was merely a negotiating charter in Taliban talks with the US and the world in Doha, Qatar. Women only wonder how draconian the current Taliban interpretation of Islamic law will be, and whether it will reach repression as it did before 2001, before US and NATO troops entered Afghanistan.
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