Little faith in the Taliban: 'No woman thinks she is more moderate now'

Little faith in the Taliban: ‘No woman thinks she is more moderate now’

Heather Barr, a women’s rights researcher for Human Rights Watch in neighboring Pakistan, doesn’t believe it. She said in an interview with RTL Nieuws that she hears completely different things.

“The women we contact in Afghanistan often describe a situation where they feel their lives have come to a complete standstill. Some of them describe it as saying they have no more dreams and no future.”

‘Women fear for their lives’

Many women hide inside, afraid to walk down the street, afraid to go to work, says Barr. “They are waiting to find out what the new government’s policy towards women will be. But they already have the feeling that they are living by Taliban rules in 2001.”

“Some women fear for their lives,” Barr continues. “Especially women who were activists and publicly campaigned for women’s rights. Women who held prominent positions in government and other professions in which the Taliban believed women should not be involved.”

But it’s not just about how many Afghan women feel. The Taliban have already done things to justify this feeling.

“We’ve heard about the Taliban going into people’s homes, interrogating them in ways that seem really intended to intimidate them, to basically say, ‘We know who you are, and we’re watching you.’ work, especially female journalists.”

The Taliban say they are more moderate and tell people not to be afraid. But Barr does not trust her.

“No Afghan woman believes their message. This is not only because of their behavior in 2001, but how they behave today, yesterday and the day before. We see them paint on pictures of women in the streets and shopkeepers doing this saying that women should not go to work now because the situation is not It’s safe for them, and they’re telling women in the media they can’t do their job anymore.”

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sneaky way

“The Taliban say that women can continue to study only if they do so in completely separate classes from men. Moreover, women are only allowed to receive education from teachers. This basically means that most women can no longer study at all, because they are not It’s possible for universities to create female-only classes with only female professors, so they’re trying to appear legitimate to the global community and they seem to have changed, but they’re really applying a lot of the same practices in a slightly more disingenuous way.”

Barr believes that the world should not only be watched and that something can be done.

The presence of the United Nations is important

“It is important to continue and strengthen the UN presence in Afghanistan and make sure that the UN is responsible for nationwide oversight on how women and girls are treated. Because if the Taliban want to be seen as legitimate and more moderate, then hopefully there will be an opportunity to try to keep them there, But that can only be done by looking at what is really happening in the country.”

“There are things that the Taliban want and the international community can decide whether to give them or not, such as access to the global financial system, access to aid, etc. Thus, the international community has the means of influence that they have to do is also used. Not only to pressure from In order to take measures to combat terrorism, but also to press for the respect of human rights, in particular the human rights of women and girls.”

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