15 Aug We vehemently reject being governed by fundamentalists whose hands are stained with blood
By Fatima (an Afghan girl in Kabul)
Part of our Blog Series AFGHAN WOMEN SPEAK: STORIES FROM INSIDE AFGHANISTAN
Two years have elapsed since the Taliban regained power through a regrettable peace agreement brokered between the US special representative, Zalmay Khalilzad, and the Taliban. This agreement handed over the fate and destiny of our people to an ignorant and misogynistic force. It obliterated the progress and achievements our nation had painstakingly built over the past two decades. With a single stroke of a pen, we were catapulted centuries backward. Ever since, a nation haunted by four decades of instability and a fractured society has been ruthlessly torn asunder.
The primary victims of this upheaval were undoubtedly our innocent girls and women. They had begun to embrace their identities as women and humans, investing in themselves with enthusiasm and hope, and nurturing dreams of a brighter future. However, these aspirations were shattered mercilessly. They were imprisoned and isolated without comprehending their supposed crimes.
Consider the tumultuous thoughts coursing through the minds of a girl about to embark on the 7th grade or a young woman in the midst of her university journey, brimming with thousands of hopes and dreams. Now, they find themselves confined within their homes. Beyond that, they’re denied the right to study, work, exercise and join the gym, dress according to their desire, apply makeup, groom their eyebrows, breathe fresh air in parks, or enjoy a meal at a restaurant, play the musical instrument she loves to play. These freedoms have all been stripped away from women, leading to a dire situation and a distressing surge in suicide rates. Shockingly, even eight and seven-year-old boys shoulder economic responsibilities for their families, as their adult sisters are unjustly barred from work. Recently the Taliban started to break and burn musical instruments and, in some areas, they have started to break TV sets. Amidst this turmoil, a critical question emerges: Who bears responsibility for these harsh circumstances?
Striking a deal with those who have sown death and oppression in our country for decades and then facilitating their return to power was a grave betrayal of our people. The international community and media remain eerily silent, demonstrating little action to counter the Taliban’s oppressive rule. Instead, we hear ineffectual comments from international bodies and figures regarding Afghan women. These remarks not only appear ludicrous but also intensify the anguish, inflicting further wounds upon Afghan women.
These actions indirectly contribute to an environment that could potentially legitimize the Taliban. They attempt to depict a scenario wherein the Taliban, by allowing schools to function, gain acceptance from our people – a notion fraught with significant risks. Even if schools are reopened due to Western pressure, we vehemently reject being governed by fundamentalists whose hands are stained with blood. Unfortunately the international community, specifically the Western countries, consider only girls’ schools closure as the main hurdle to recognize the Taliban. What is the use of school, when there is no freedom, no dignity, and no human rights. Taliban schools and curriculum, at best, can sow the seeds of bigotry, obscurantism, misogynous mind-set, and medieval ways of life and thoughts.
Any steps toward recognition normalize the Taliban and should be outright condemned. Humanitarian help is not enough, radical political support towards democracy is needed.
This catastrophic situation prompts numerous questions and grievances as Afghan girls endure the rule of ignorant and cruel figures. Foremost among these questions is why such a deal was struck, one that surrendered our destiny into their hands. We demand to know how much longer we must endure this suffering and catastrophic regression into the Dark Ages.