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    Study says Taliban deprive women of livelihoods, identity

    CountriesAfghanistanStudy says Taliban deprive women of livelihoods, identity
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    Study says Taliban deprive women of livelihoods, identity

    A study by Human Rights Watch and and San Jose State University reveals that Afghan women and girls are severely restricted, harassed and frightened and have become “virtual prisoners” in their own homes since the Taliban came to power.

    A new research finds that Taliban rule has had a devastating impact on Afghan women and girls. The study conducted jointly by Human Rights Watch and the San Jose State University (SJSU) says that since taking control of the city of Ghazni on 12 August 2021, days before entering Kabul, the Taliban imposed rights-violating policies that have created huge barriers to women’s and girls’ health and education.

    The researchers shared their findings Tuesday, detailing how the current rulers have curtailed freedom of movement, expression, and association, and deprived many of earned income. The interviews for the study of the interviews using secure communications with women.

    Ghazni province, in southeastern Afghanistan, has a population of about 1.3 million people, predominantly ethnic Pashtun and Hazara. The provincial capital, Ghazni, is on the road from Kabul to Kandahar, and was often attacked during the fighting of the past 20 years.

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    Afghanistan’s rapidly escalating humanitarian crisis exacerbates these abuses, the researchers say. Following the Taliban takeover, millions of dollars in lost income, spiking prices, aid cut-offs, a liquidity crisis, and cash shortages triggered by former donor countries, especially the United States, have deprived much of the population of access to food, water, shelter, and health care.

    “Afghan women and girls are facing both the collapse of their rights and dreams and risks to their basic survival,” said SJSU’s scholar on Afghanistan, Halima Kazem-Stojanovic. “They are caught between Taliban abuses and actions by the international community that are pushing Afghans further into desperation every day.”

    Dark future

    The women interviewed included those who had worked in education, health care, social services, and business, and former students.

    They described spiraling prices for food staples, transportation, and schoolbooks, coupled with an abrupt and often total income loss. Many had been the sole or primary wage earner for their family, but most lost their employment due to Taliban policies restricting women’s access to work.

    “The future looks dark,” said one woman who had worked in the government. “I had many dreams, wanted to continue studying and working. I was thinking of doing my master’s. At the moment, they (the Taliban) don’t even allow girls to finish high school.”

    The women said they had acute feelings of insecurity because the Taliban have dismantled the formal police force and the Women’s Affairs Ministry, are extorting money and food from communities, and are targeting for intimidation women they see as enemies, such as those who worked for foreign organizations and the previous Afghan government.

    “The crisis for women and girls in Afghanistan is escalating with no end in sight,” said Heather Barr, associate women’s rights director at Human Rights Watch. “Taliban policies have rapidly turned many women and girls into virtual prisoners in their homes, depriving the country of one of its most precious resources, the skills and talents of the female half of the population.”

     

    Image: From Wikipedia.

    Caption: A member of the Taliban’s religious police beating an Afghan woman in Kabul in  2001.

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