Women’s rights have an uncertain future in Afghanistan | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Women’s rights have an uncertain future in Afghanistan

Afghanistan, after the Taliban takeover, is a waiting game. And for Afghan women, the waiting game is agonizing.

The last time the Taliban held power, in the late ’90s and early 2000s, repression was a feature of their rule. This was especially true for women. Girls could not attend school; women could not hold jobs or leave their homes without a male relative accompanying them. Those who defied the Taliban’s directives and their fundamentalist interpretation of Islam were punished, often brutally, with floggings or beatings.

The US invasion of Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks put the Taliban’s worldview under scrutiny. The war became about more than terrorism; things like the expansion of women’s rights became embedded within the US mission there. In November 2001, first lady Laura Bush said the Taliban’s retreat meant “the people of Afghanistan, especially women, are rejoicing.” In 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a group of female Afghan ministers: “We will not abandon you, we will stand with you always.”