Since the Taliban* seized Kabul, people across the world have voiced concerns about women’s rights in the country. The insurgent group, for its part, has vowed to respect women and their rights in accordance with Islamic law.
Former Afghan judge and activist Najla Ayoubi has told Sky News she is aware of a recent case involving a woman being set on fire because she was accused of “bad cooking” by Taliban fighters. According to Ayoubi, the incident took place as other women in the country are also reportedly being forced into sex slavery for the insurgents.
“There are so many young women in the past few weeks being shipped into neighbouring countries in coffins to be used as sex slaves”, Ayoubi added.
The activist additionally noted that the Taliban’s leaders are forcing families to marry their young daughters off to fighters, stressing she doesn’t see how the insurgent group is keeping its promise to preserve women’s rights in accordance with Islamic law.
© AP Photo / Mariam Zuhaib
Despite the Taliban previously pledging to provide Afghan women with all the rights granted to them by Sharia and Afghan law, there have been multiple reports suggesting that the situation surrounding women’s rights in the country has worsened since the Kabul takeover. On 20 August, two female anchors with Radio Television Afghanistan (RTA), were reportedly intimidated and barred from performing their duties by RTA’s new director with the backing of the Taliban.
Earlier this week, the United Nations Refugee Agency received reports of human rights abuses against women throughout Afghanistan, with cases showing that in some areas women are not being allowed to go to work.
Notably, several women marched across the Afghan capital on 17 August with white sheets of paper, chanting their demands, including respect for political, civil, and women’s rights. The female demonstrators walked through the city unopposed, without anyone trying to stop them.
Following the demonstration, the US and allied countries, including the United Kingdom and European Union, issued a joint statement expressing deep concern over the situation with women’s and girls’ rights in Afghanistan and urged the authorities to guarantee their protection.
In general, the radical movement prohibits women from work or study and forces them to stay at home and be accompanied by a male relative. Despite the Taliban’s claims that they will allow women to study and work, some people in Afghanistan remain sceptical and fear for the future of women and girls.
*The Taliban is a terrorist group banned in Russia and many other countries.