These days, hopeless living conditions of Afghan women under the brutal Taliban rule are becoming a rising issue. Amnesty International calls Afghanistan under the Taliban “a human right catastrophe” and Afghan women, who struggle to survive, describe themselves as the “living dead” (Goodwin). Their lives have turned to despair and disaster when the Taliban took over the city of Kabul in September 1996 and shows their brutal system of gender apartheid (Hanford).
While the Taliban shows their control over every aspect of Afghan women’s lives, Afghan women suffer from receiving inhuman and unequal treatment. As violence against Afghan women increases as Taliban force strengthened, this issue catches attention of many people around the world. Some people blame Afghanistan government and Taliban force for the poor living condition of women in Afghanistan and try to make advice to improve their situation, on the other hand there are people who consider arguing over gender issue is too dangerous and unimportant. The growing strength of Taliban is deteriorating Afghan women’s living conditions by taking away their basic human rights, opportunities to get proper education and not making any law or punishment preventing Afghan women’s rights.
Taliban shows their violence by depriving Afghan women’s fundamental human rights. Afghan women do not have right to decorate themselves and behave as they want. The Taliban’s banning women wearing makeup or other things to decorate themselves, laughing, walking and talking loudly shows the harsh rule of Taliban (Goodwin). Women who violate these rules are considered as committing social offenses and get punished. Women also do not have right to decide their future especially in marriage due to the belief of patriarchal cultures. According to the patriarchal culture women are treated as creatures that lack wisdoms and judgments therfore they cannot decide matters related to their lives (Emadi). Inhuman treatment towards women points out women’s status in Afghan society which is probably lower than livestock. Furthermore, Afghan women are forced to hide inside and cover their whole body with the burqa all the time. Women are prohibited from being seen and heard that the windows of their homes were painted and they could not appear in public unless wearing the burqa. Women were beaten, even killed for minor violations of these rules. (Hanford). The poor living conditions of Afghan women which is controlled cruelly by the Taliban force reveals the Taliban’s beliefs that women are no use and worthless.
In addition to the Taliban’s seizure of fundamental rights of Afghan women, the Taliban shows their ruthless restrictions by banning women’s education. The Taliban uses violence to prevent female students attending school. Getting proper education is one of the most important things in one’s life, but the Taliban takes away this opportunities from Afghan women. The Taliban’s strong opposition of education for girls is also shown in recent event that the Taliban blew up four schools in Pakistan trying to show their opposition against female education. Many young women in Pakistan have been prevented from going to school by Taliban forces (Khan).
Aside from getting education, Women are also treated unequally as in job opportunities compared to men. Because of unequal job opportunities, female teachers and doctors are rare in Afghanistan. The major leading cause of death of Afghan women is impossibility of getting proper first-aid when they needed because of lack of female doctors in society (Hosseini). Moreover, High mortality and diseases of women has brought into focus the lack of education. Restrictions of education for women leads to health awareness that female students who did not get proper education on nutrition and health issues of women’s lives tend to have high mortality and life threatening diseases (Emadi). Improper education and unequal job opportunities which cause the lack of female doctors and teachers in Afghan society leads to high mortality and diseases of Afghan women.
The Afghan government does little to deal with the situations of violence against women. Afghan women’s living condition gets worse not only because of the Taliban, but also the Afghan Government who, in reality, promotes the growing strength of the Taliban by just watching and doing nothing on violent rule of the Taliban over its country. Current Afghan Government fears Taliban forces and is too weak to fight against them. “The perception of the threat from the Taliban continues to outstrip the reality……This struggle is more down to the credibility of the Afghan Government rather than the threat of the Taliban.” (Coghlan). Because of its weakness and fears towards the Taliban force, The Afghan Government does not make any punishment or law to prevent violence against women. There is an incident that happened which clearly shows the weakness in judicial system of Afghan Government when a young women was shot while hurrying her seriously ill baby to a doctor.
She kept walking despite of the call from teenage Taliban and she got shot. Later when her family complained about it, they were informed that it was that women’s fault that she had no right being out in public in the first place (Goodwin). The Afghan Government is corrupted and only cares about wealth and reputation that they don’t see any value to prevent violence against women. The organization that protects Afghan women’s rights insists that “because of corrupt political and social system, our people are getting poorer and poorer every day. In such circumstances, talking about privatization of education or the establishment of private institutions will, at the end of the day, only fill foreigners’ pockets and expand colonial culture.” (RAWA). The weakness and corruption of the Afghan Government with its insensibility of the situation of violence against women provides the opportunities to the Taliban force to take over the lives of women in Afghanistan.
The unfavorable living conditions of Afghanistan women is caused by the growing strength of the Taliban who takes away their basic human rights with opportunities to get proper education and the Afghan Government who fears the power of the Taliban and not making any law or punishment preventing Afghan women’s rights.
The Taliban deprives almost every fundamental right of women which makes women struggle to survive. Also, their harsh restrictions especially banning women’s education leads to high mortality and diseases of women. Despite of all these violence against women, in reality, the Afghan Government is corrupted and insensible that they do not do much to improve or deal with the situation. Some people argues that it is just a problem of Afghanistan and not a problem that whole world needs to worry about, but it is important for people around the world to aware of this situation of violence against women in Afghanistan. Avoiding it and Trying not to face it because it’s a gender issue of a country with minor popularity is an old thinking. Poor living conditions of Afghan women can be improved not only to remove the Taliban force which now controls many aspects of Afghan people’s lives, but also to eliminate factors that causes the growing strength of the Taliban in Afghan society.