Women in Afghanistan have expressed fears that their freedoms could be lost following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan.
Already on the streets of Kabul, the capital city, there are no jeans and t-shirts around and no women, footage has shown.
Afghanistan’s minister of education Rangina Hamidi told the BBC: “I feel the fear that every mother has in Afghanistan, the fear that every woman has in Afghanistan.
“I might have to face consequences and I guess that’s the price that we pay for trying to make this world a little better.”
She spoke about hearing gunshots and moving her daughter and other children living in her house to a safer part of it with no windows. “It’s very very difficult to predict if we will make it into the morning,” Hamidi said.
“I might face consequences… I guess that’s the price we pay for trying to make the world a little better”— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) August 15, 2021
Afghanistan’s Minister of Education Rangina Hamidi says she is fearful “like every woman in Afghanistan”https://t.co/hHMv4FptLI pic.twitter.com/JzywRPEI1H
Women ‘laughed at’ through their terror
According to ABC News, Taliban leaders asked local religious leaders last month to compile a list of girls over 15 years old and widows under 45 for marrying Taliban fighters.
An Afghan female student living in Kabul said police were evacuating women from dormitories because the Taliban would beat women who do not wear burqas. And she said she and her sisters had to hide their IDs, diplomas and certificates, which would put them in danger if seen by the Taliban.
She told The Guardian drivers refused to let the young women on public transport, whilst some men were laughing at them and saying these are their “last days of being out on the streets”. One man said: “I will marry four of you in one day”.
“I feel like I am the victim of this political war that men started,” she said, listing all the things she feels she can no longer do as a woman.
‘Men who hate women’
She added: “All I could see around me were the fearful and scared faces of women and ugly faces of men who hate women, who do not like women to get educated, work and have freedom.
“Most devastating to me were the ones who looked happy and made fun of women.”
Another woman, called Aaila, told The Guardian that the price of burqas has risen tenfold as women rush to buy them in order to feel safer.
Women’s freedom and independence ‘threatened’
The piece of clothing was previously forced onto women by the Taliban during the late 1990s, and failure to wear it in public would mean severe punishments – but since the Taliban’s fall in 2001, millions across the country took control over what they wanted to wear.
Until then, women were also denied education and employment and the right to leave their homes without a male “guardian”, but the progress made over the past 20 years is likely to be lost again under the revived Taliban rule.
Habiba, 26, told the newspaper that she is afraid of losing her freedom and independence and will be forced to stay at home. She was advised by her mother to buy a burqa to be safer, but she refused to do so.
“I don’t want to hide behind a curtain-like cloth. If I wear the burqa, it means that I have accepted the Taliban’s government. I have given them the right to control me,” she told the newspaper.
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