The Political Struggle of Afghan Women: An Ongoing Crisis
"United Nations Association of Canada": Part of the Digital Equity Program for a "Youth Mentor"
Afghan women shout slogans during a rally to protest against what the protesters say is Taliban restrictions on women, in Kabul, Afghanistan on December 28, 2021. Ali Khara/REUTERS.
Taken from : https://www.cfr.org/blog/women-week-womens-rights-deteriorate-afghanistan
By: Alexa Dominique Pascual
Who are the Taliban? Why Foreign interference from Developed Countries is Recommended?
The Taliban was formed in 1994 and consisted of Afghan resistance fighters who took over the Afghan government after its fall because of severe corruption. They also go by the name “mujahedeen”. They are a group of fighters who voluntarily joined or are recruited by either their family members or by recruiters themselves, doing so helps them gain social status which creates benefits to them by having a name in their society. They also gain profit from fighting in the war, they take this as an advantage to gain success for themselves despite bringing harm to others and killing their fellow citizens and foreign nationals because of their authoritarian values and religious fanaticism. They spread their belief system and propaganda through a recruiting process by recruiting family members starting at an early age. This causes the child to be trained to kill the innocent and to be a slave to their dictatorship and this causes the group to widen their range. One of their goals is to implement the practice of Islamic law to its extreme throughout the country, they take advantage of such acts and use their religion to gain control over their people. To the point that their society becomes a chaotic totalitarian environment where their citizens lack freedom of rights. This widely increased gender inequality, for example, when women are deprived of proper education and abused by their spouses. It became a common practice in their country that it was normalized to do such an act disguising the practice by being part of their “religion”. That it reaches its extreme almost to the point that they're mocking it, which causes society to go backwards.
The Advantages of Foreign Influence in Afghanistan
One of their primary purposes is to remove foreign influence and to brainwash their citizens into following their dictatorial ruling system. Because if influenced by foreign countries then their citizens would know what it is like to live in a more diplomatic environment, which will cause them to question their beliefs and make their government lose authority bit by bit. The United States tried to influence the country by funding its infrastructure, education, police forces and government. Their main mission is to prevent the Afghan government to be conquered by “al-Qaeda” and to make sure that their society is not heavily influenced by the terrorist group because it will bring their nation to ultimate destruction. The US also assisted Afghan citizens to have access to humanitarian aid to avoid the destruction of their economy. In July 2022, to save Afghanistan’s economic well being the US collaborated with NGOs and UN Agencies donating 775 million dollars. This greatly gave a positive impact on the country's humanitarian department because human rights organizations were funded this helped women, children and other minority groups improve their daily lives. The influence of the United States gave a positive effect to the Afghan population which gave an improvement to their society. Because of the corruption of the Afghan government and its fall. The Afghan government could not stand alone with such crisis causing their people to suffer and children to die of starvation. (U.S Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, (August, 15, 2022), https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-afghanistan/)
On the other hand, the United Nations donated 4.4 billion dollars over to humanitarian aid. This benefited a lot of malnourished children to get the proper medical care and nutrition they need. However, the violence against women and girls has greatly increased because of their restrictions on human rights and freedom. We must continue to prevent the Taliban from achieving their goals towards their plans of destruction to their nation. The United Nations should continue doing its part by funding human rights departments and helping minorities, these people need our help they are mothers, sisters and friends too. They are all human just like us, they are no different. We must continue sending our support as much as we can to help them live a better life and to free them from oppression and control by their government. (United Nations UN News, Afghanistan: UN launches largest single country aid appeal ever, January 11, 2022, https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/01/1109492)
The Taliban and Terrorist Relations
The Taliban formed relationships with the HQN and al-Qaeda. Both terrorist groups have caused destruction by killing their own citizens and citizens from foreign countries. They share a close relationship because they practice the same values of extremist Islamic practice, that they want to forcefully implement in their own citizens. This causes tension to rise internationally as well because foreign nationals have been dying at their own soil due to their disastrous endeavours. From suicide bombing on foreign soil to terrorist attacks.
Their relationship kept growing ever since the “anti-Soviet Afghan jihad” which built their strong ties to each other because of their experience in fighting side by side during the conflict with the United States and NATO. This inspired them to have more strategic plans to defeat states across the Atlantic.
Human Rights Violations
“ A bomb attack on Sayed-ul-Shuhada High School in West Kabul on 8 May killed or injured more than 230 people, nearly all girls.1 On 26 August, a suicide attack outside Kabul airport carried out by the armed group Islamic State – Khorasan Province (IS-K) resulted in at least 380 casualties, mostly Afghans seeking evacuation. Three separate attacks took place in October on Eid Gah Mosque in Kabul and two Shia-Hazara mosques in the cities of Kandahar and Kunduz, reportedly killing dozens and injuring hundreds of others.” (Amnesty International, Afghanistan 2021, 2021,https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/asia-and-the-pacific/south-asia/afghanistan/report-afghanistan/)
The Taliban is also responsible for killing women empowerment activists, journalists, humanitarian workers and government leaders. It is very disheartening to see such action, people deserve to speak for themselves and people deserve to fight for their rights. Someone like you, someone the same age as you and someone the same gender as you is silenced just for fighting to survive. We are lucky in Canada, we live in peace and prosperity. When we look at other developing countries in West Asia and the Middle East they are constantly fighting for their lives every single day. The amount of struggle is unbearable to see, mothers, fathers and children have been dying just because of the extreme religious practices that their government is implementing to them. The number of human rights violations has been increasing every year. Just recently women have been banned from attending university. This rule was implemented because the government thought women did not wear the “proper dress code” and were not chaperoned by men when going to their classes. This argument is obviously an excuse that the Taliban implemented to prevent women from being educated. How can we make future productive leaders and how can we progress as a society, when there are still women around the world being deprived of receiving the proper education? How can their nation prosper economically? When fewer jobs will be given. The more women are educated the more jobs. There should be no limitations to educational access. The Taliban government has thought this through to be an opportunity to stick to their old extremist religious path. It is unjust to see a society living in this kind of environment which is why the United Nations needs to continue delivering support to humanitarian aid to save people's lives and to increase Afghanistan's economic welfare.
The Taliban gives a negative effect on their country's human rights, which brings their citizens to live in fear and struggle. They committed several human rights violations,
“Taliban authorities have presided over widespread human rights abuses since they took control of Afghanistan last August, the UN said, including 160 killings of former government officials and members of the security forces, and dozens of cases of torture, arbitrary arrests and inhumane punishments. (Taliban presiding over extensive rights abuses in Afghanistan, says UN, Emma Graham Harrison, (July 21, 2022),https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/21/taliban-overseeing-extensive-rights-abuses-afghanistan-says-un#:~:text=Taliban%20authorities%20have%20presided%20over,arbitrary%20arrests%20and%20inhumane%20punishments.)
Why should the youth care about these issues?
We should care about these issues because, with more awareness and when more youths are educated then these things will make it harder for it to happen here. It does not mean that we live in a more progressive and democratic country that it is impossible for it to occur. The more youths who are well aware the more they will get inspired and care about these issues, which means we could create more activists and young leaders. More involvement, will bring attention to our world leaders to take these causes seriously and this will inspire them to continue to collaborate with NGOs and to continue to donate to humanitarian departments. Being educated will also build more empowered and productive young leaders. We are the next generation who will be leading this world. The baby boomers and Generation X’s time will be over. It is our turn Gen-Z to lead because we are the future of this world. It is up to us to make a difference and to correct all the wrongs the previous generation did. It is never too late to make a change, we can do it as long as we work hard on advocating for causes. It is not impossible to make this world a better place as long as we work together to accomplish our goals. We have to make a stand right now to save the next generation and to save our future.
Carnegie Endowment For International Peace, Aqil Shah, (August 31, 2021),https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/08/31/how-will-taliban-deal-with-other-islamic-extremist-groups-pub-85239)
(Taliban presiding over extensive rights abuses in Afghanistan, says UN, Emma Graham Harrison, (July 21, 2022),https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/jul/21/taliban-overseeing-extensive-rights-abuses-afghanistan-says-un#:~:text=Taliban%20authorities%20have%20presided%20over,arbitrary%20arrests%20and%20inhumane%20punishments.)
(Amnesty International, Afghanistan 2021, 2021,https://www.amnesty.org/en/location/asia-and-the-pacific/south-asia/afghanistan/report-afghanistan/)
(United Nations UN News, Afghanistan: UN launches largest single country aid appeal ever, January 11, 2022, https://news.un.org/en/story/2022/01/1109492)
(U.S Department of State, Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs, (August, 15, 2022), https://www.state.gov/u-s-relations-with-afghanistan/)
(Aljazeera, “My heart is bleeding”: Afghan women devastated by university ban”, (December,21,2022), https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2022/12/21/afghan-women-devastated-by-taliban-university-ban)
(Made for minds, “Afghanistan : Taliban tells NGO’s to stop women from working”, (December, 24, 2022), https://www.dw.com/en/afghanistan-taliban-tells-ngos-to-stop-women-from-working/a-64206020#:~:text=Taliban%20officials%20say%20the%20ban,banned%20women%20from%20attending%20universities.)
(Foreign Policy, “Afghan Resistance Leaders See No Option but War” (September, 1 ,2022) https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/09/29/afghanistan-taliban-resistance-terrorism-jihad/)
(The Guardian, “Taliban ban Afghan women from university education”, (December ,20, 2022), https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/dec/20/taliban-ban-afghan-women-university-education)
(Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “How Will the Taliban Deal With Other Extermeist Islamic Groups? (August, 31,2021), https://carnegieendowment.org/2021/08/31/how-will-taliban-deal-with-other-islamic-extremist-groups-pub-85239)
(International Center for Counter-Terrorism, “One Year of Taliban Rule in Afghanistan: A Predictable Disaster”, (August ,26,2022), https://icct.nl/publication/one-year-of-taliban-rule-in-afghanistan-a-predictable-disaster/)