For Afghan women, it's a dreading rerun of a nightmare

Afghan women fear they might re-experience Taliban restrictions

August 17, 2021 11:18 pm | Updated August 18, 2021 10:58 am IST - HYDERABAD

The Taliban flag flies at the Ghazni provincial governor's house, in Ghazni, Afghanistan.

The Taliban flag flies at the Ghazni provincial governor's house, in Ghazni, Afghanistan.

After the Taliban completely took over Afghanistan a few days ago, shivers ran down the spines of lakhs of Afghans, especially women. The restrictions imposed on women by the Taliban during their rule over the country from 1996-2001 have resurfaced.

A 22-year-old Afghani woman, Nasiba Salehin, was a toddler when Taliban ruled Afghanistan the last time.

The young woman who has completed Bachelors in Civil Engineering from Osmania University and stays in Hyderabad, Telangana, heard about the strict curbs imposed on women through her family members. The fresh graduate fears the dark times will return.

“Now that Taliban took the reins of the country, we are afraid of re-experiencing the dark days of history where women will be forced to wear burqas and will not be allowed to walk in the streets. And the girls will be given permission to go to school only up to the age of 12. The Afghani women will be deprived of going to universities and will be strictly prohibited from doing jobs,” Ms Nasiba said.

Having completed the bachelors course, she was aspiring to pursue masters or do a job. With her city under siege by the Taliban, she fears it means losing her house, dreams, goals, ambitions. The fears are compounded as her scholarship too will stop by the end of next month, which would mean she has to return to Afghanistan.

“Talibans will deny even our primary rights. I fear my family and friends will be killed and no one knows what will happen next,” she feared.

Other Afghan women who stay in Hyderabad were too traumatised to talk. Male Afghani students too have expressed concerns about women’s rights. While the expatriates said that the Taliban has assured rights for women, they are not sure if the assurances will be acted upon.

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