Girls Above 15 And Widows Under 45 As ‘Gifts’ To Fighters; Taliban’s Recent Demand And Treatment Of Women Over Decades

A few days back, video footage of some time in late 2020 from Taliban’s Haftgola near Herat, went viral. It was disturbing to watch as it filmed a woman getting lashed by three men amidst many people. Do you know why she was beaten brutally in public? Because she was ‘caught’ talking to a man over the phone which the locals termed as adultery. The more shocking thing about it is that the punishment of forty lashes was carried out by a parallel court (considering the fact that actual Taliban courts are banned by Afghanistan)!

The woman can be seen wailing with utter pain. She screams out saying “I repent… it’s my fault, I messed up”. Yes, am talking about an incident that happened just a few months back. The situation is still not better anyway, specifically for women and girls in the Taliban. And it is more apt to say that the Taliban is going to bad old days where women were treated as sex slaves.

Now am going to share with you another latest happening in the Taliban. It is about a letter with a Taliban seal, issued by the Taliban’s Cultural Commission. The letter reads that parents should gift their daughters to Taliban fighters. The letter demands a list of girls above 15 and widows under 45 living in captured areas. This list will be further used for ‘gifting purposes’.

These listed women and girls from their communities will then be transported to Pakistan’s Waziristan. They will be converted to Islam and reintegrated. Unfortunately, with great ‘joy’ Taliban has promised to take away their daughters as wives to these fighters.

This order comes after the Taliban gained control over 200 key districts. Besides districts, they have also conquered border posts with Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Their victory has left Afghan security forces under pressure and fear. They are also deprived of reinforcements.

Not just the recent Imam order, but since many years before, women in Afghanistan’s northeastern province of Takhar were not allowed to step out of their homes. If they had to go out, they should have a male companion to protect them. Isn’t it funny to hand over yourself to someone else? But trust the system and don’t even dare to question it.

Women were prohibited from going to school. They were also banned from working outside their home. If they ever failed to do so, they were punished publicly by the Taliban’s religious police. Men on the other hand have to be ‘a complete man’ with thickly grown beards. They could set and modify the dowry regulations as per their desire.

Even these evil practices were still there, some of them were somehow becoming illegal in the last few years. But now with the Taliban emerging to more territories, things are getting worse. With the new letter, Afghanistan elders are saying that the Taliban will take away their daughters and forcefully marry them and turn them into slaves.

“Since the Taliban took over, we feel depressed. At home, we can’t speak loudly, can’t listen to music, and can’t send women to the Friday market. They are asking about family members. The [Taliban] sub-commander said you should not keep girls over the age of 18; it’s sinful, they must get married,” said an Afghan elder, Haji Rozi Baig to the Financial Times.

Let’s raise our voice against this inhumane practice. Let’s stand with the suppressed. Let’s educate the world that women are not commodities to gift, not sex toys to satisfy the lust and that they do not exist just to look after their children. Women have bigger goals.

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