The situation of women and girls under the brutal Taliban regime stands out from all the uncertainties that hang over the future of Afghanistan. Despite the renewed communication strategy of the insurgents, showing themselves as moderates to the world and measuring their positions to please the West, the memory of the first taliban government (1996-2001) threatens to repeat itself once the media focus shifts from Kabul.
Asked about the role that women will play in the Taliban’s Afghanistan, one of its senior officials has assured that the decision on the right of half of the Afghan population to work and education, and how to dress, will ultimately rest in a council of academics of Islam or ulama.
“Our ulama will decide whether girls can go to school or not,” Taliban leader Waheedullah Hashimi told Reuters. “They will decide whether to wear a hijab, burqa or abaya,” he added.
The hijab is usually a headscarf, the burqa is a robe that covers the entire body from head to toe, while the abaya is a robe that leaves the face uncovered.
Last Tuesday, the main spokesman for the Taliban, Zabihullah Mujahid, stated at the first press conference in Kabul that women would be allowed to work and study. “They will be very active in society, but within the framework of Islamic law,” he remarked. That same day, a group of women took to the streets of Kabul to protest against the Taliban and to demand that their rights be respected, including social security, the right to work and education, and the right to participation. politics.
During his previous government between 1996 and 2001, also guided by the Islamic or Sharia law, the Taliban deprived women of almost all their rights. They were banned from working, girls were expelled from schools, and women had to wear burqas to go out, something they could only do when accompanied by a male relative. Those who broke the rules were sometimes subjected to public humiliation and beatings by the religious police.
One of the reasons the United States argued for invading Afghanistan in 2001 it was the terrible situation of Afghan women and girls. On this occasion, the international community has warned that they will focus on the facts, not on the words about respect for women within the framework of Islamic law, as the main Taliban spokesperson, Zabihullah Mujahid maintains: “They will be very active in society, but within the framework of Islamic law ”, he stated.