“It is time to hold the Taliban accountable for their actions.”

The Oppression of Women in Afghanistan


UN Photo/Eric Kanalstein

Grouped Together: Women stand together wearing Muslim headwear in Bagram, Afghanistan. Date unknown from Creative Commons.

       When the U.S. military withdrew from Afghanistan in August 2021, the Islamic extremist group the Taliban took over the government. Without the U.S. for protection, former President Ashraf Ghani fled to the neighboring country of Uzbekistan, and democracy in Afghanistan was toppled. This left many Americans outraged as they believed that everything the soldiers had fought hard for in the past 20 years had gone to waste.  

       Since the U.S. left, however, Afghanistan hasn’t been as widespread in the news. As a result, it is important that people don’t forget about the Afghanis that have been stripped of their freedoms and livelihood.

       Undoubtedly, the people who have lost the most rights are women. Since the Taliban are a fundamentalist group, they stick to strict interpretation of Islamic law, meaning women are required to completely cover themselves in public. Women aren’t allowed to work or even be seen in public without a male guardian in Afghanistan.

       According to an article by the Hindustan Times, women were recently whipped in Afghanistan for going to a shop without a male guardian. The article states, “Those being punished received between 21 and 39 lashes each, after being convicted in a local court of theft and adultery.” 

       The fact that these women were physically abused for trying to simply go to the store is awful. What’s worse, Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada also ordered judges last month to fully enforce aspects of Islamic law that include public executions and floggings. No matter your religious beliefs, this treatment of people cannot be deemed acceptable.

       Another injustice that has been placed on the women of Afghanistan regards education, as the length of their schooling has been limited. 

       An article by UN Women states that “…the Taliban has also banned girls from attending school past the sixth grade and barred women from working most jobs outside the home.”

       The Taliban’s restriction of what age girls can go to school  is extremely unfair, as it separates their level of knowledge from the men in Afghanistan. This limits their future jobs, roles, and voices within society.

       History teacher Mrs. Sarah DiGiacomo emphasizes the media coverage surrounding Afghanistan. She states, “I don’t believe that the media coverage is sufficient. If it was, there would be a global outcry to help these women.”

       DiGiacomo also stresses the importance of the United States and other democracies in the world intervening in the situation.  She continues, “As for the UN, writing solutions doesn’t lead to resolutions; it is time for action. It is time to hold the Taliban accountable for their actions.”

       The Taliban’s reign over Afghanistan has become a crucial issue within the country’s government, as its citizens are now under complete control. The Taliban uses the aspects of violence and intimidation to place fear within its citizens, stripping them of their basic human freedoms. This ongoing issue will only worsen over time, making it important to spread awareness about the tyrannous actions the Taliban are committing.