As the Taliban continues to be diplomatically marginalized, they made a request to the world community, asking them to recognize their “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.” The international community has pushed the group to build a government that includes everyone and to guarantee that women’s rights are protected; however, the Taliban appears to have disregarded these demands.
The de facto authorities published a decree on the 24th of December prohibiting women from working in NGOs. This most recent directive came after an earlier one that barred women from attending universities and prevented girls from attending secondary schools.By preventing women from enrolling in higher education programmes, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan delivered what was likely the death blow to the cause of educating women. After making pledges to protect women’s rights the new authorities of Afghanistan have ultimately decided to close all of the schools in the country, forcing female students in grades seven through twelve to remain at home.
The Taliban have reneged on the majority of the pledges they made shortly after their return to power in August of 2021. Thousands of Afghans, including women, have fled the nation out of fear that the Taliban would return to power and continue the bloody rule they established in the 1990s. The Taliban’s policy of systemic discrimination is being carried on in its current iteration, which prohibits women from entering universities.
Since August 2021, Taliban have prevented girls from attending secondary schools, limited women’s and girls’ freedom of movement, excluded women from the majority of available jobs. Since the Taliban have taken control of Afghanistan, women and girls have been effectively excluded from Afghani public life. In the beginning, the Taliban made hollow claims that women would be able to “enjoy their rights within Sharia law,” which included the ability to work and study. However, these assurances turned out to be nothing more than hollow promises. Women are expected to conceal their faces in public and must have a male chaperone whenever they travel, and they are prohibited from working outside the home for the most part. In addition, women are not permitted to vote or hold public office.
In most professions, women were not allowed to work outside the home. Only women whose occupations could not be done by men were allowed to come to work, for example, limited jobs in education, health, and some jobs in the police force. The same proclamation also stated that the sole employment that women were permitted to do for the government of Kabul was to clean female restrooms. Women who had positions as judges, prosecutors, and attorneys have either departed the country or been demoted and replaced by former Taliban fighters and graduates of Madrasas (traditional schools) who have no prior experience in the judicial system. Initially, and prior to the implementation of the new limits in December 2022, the Taliban enforced a prohibition on girls participating in secondary education, which included grades 7 through 12. Girls were not permitted to return to secondary schools, despite the fact that the de facto authorities had previously committed to doing so.
The Taliban adhere to a puritanical interpretation of Islam, and the supreme head of the movement, Hibatullah Akhundzada, along with his inner circle of Afghan clerics, are staunch opponents of modern education, particularly for girls and women.
It is imperative that the Taliban immediately lift their ban on the enrollment of women in universities and allow secondary schools for female students in Afghanistan to reopen. It is imperative that the international community, as well as the countries that provide aid to Afghanistan, make it clear to the Taliban how damaging it will be for not only Afghan women and girls, but for the entire population of Afghanistan.