Now that the government of Afghanistan is no longer in power and the Taliban has taken over, many in the country are worried about their future and their freedom, especially that of girls and women.
The Taliban has captured the capital Kabul in Afghanistan after capturing other Afghan provincial capitals – and the country is in disarray. President Ashraf Ghani has fled the country, as have many foreign nationals. However there are many Afghans and foreign nationals who wish to depart, who no longer can.
Afghan women and their international allies are worried that the Taliban rule will set the country back decades, stripping away any hard-earned freedoms won post-2001 US invasion.
Lima Halima Ahmad, PhD candidate of International Security & Human Security tweeted forlornly, criticising foreign news sources who have been claiming that Afghans sympathise with the Taliban and sharia law.
Didn’t the entire world believed Afghans are all Taliban, Talibanism is their culture? So who are those people that are leaving? https://t.co/JCmlihqwal— Lima Halima Ahmad (@Limaahmad) August 16, 2021
Another Afghan, Aisha Ahmad, who doesn’t have a Twitter photo of herself out of security concerns, tweeted her worries about the future, especially for Afghan girls and women.
Had more than 5 interviews today, couldn’t sleep the whole night.— Aisha Ahmad (@AishaTaIks) August 16, 2021
Will take some rest and will keep you updated when I am back! Meanwhile have us on your prayers please!
My concern is not about now, but about our future. The Afghan girl future! #KabulHasFallen
Ian Dunt, a columnist at the UK’s iNews, has tweeted an article where Afghanistan’s first female mayor talks of waiting with her family for the Taliban to knock on her door: “There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?”
Afghanistan’s first female mayor: ‘I’m waiting for the Taliban to come for people like me’https://t.co/vGlV9Ybnjs— Ian Dunt (@IanDunt) August 16, 2021
PR Executive Joel Reji has tweeted an open letter from Afghan filmmaker Sahraa Karimi, in which she summarises what has happened in the last few weeks and asks for support: “They [the Taliban] have massacred our people, they kidnapped many children, they sold girls as child brides to their men, they murdered a woman for her attire, they gouged the eyes of a woman, they tortured and murdered one of our beloved comedians, they murdered one of our historian poets, they murdered the head of culture and media for the government, they have been assassinating people affiliated with the government, they hung some of our men publicly, they have displaced hundreds of thousands of families.”
As the heartbreaking visuals from #Kabul airport fill our social media handles, people like @sahraakarimi need to be heard louder. The Afghan filmmaker, who holds a PhD in cinema and the first female chairperson of Afghan Film Organisation writes an open letter. #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/h7LYohoZmX— Joel Reji (@joelrejijohn) August 16, 2021
University lecturer Muska Dastageer has quoted a tweet from a Taliban spokesperson, asking him to reassure Afghan women that the Taliban will not force young girls and women into unwilling marriages with Taliban fighters.
Please communicate this and your other assurances in Pashto and Dari as well. This is meant for us, isn't it @suhailshaheen1 Sb? Not for Western spectators. Talk to us. Assure us. Prove it to us. https://t.co/yoClRNtYp5— Muska Dastageer (@DastageerMuska) August 15, 2021
Syrian journalist Zaina Erhaim has tweeted a message she received from “a feminist friend in Afghanistan” in which she (the friend) shares her fears with Erhaim.
“Everyone is so hopeless & destroying their documents that might prove a linkage to intel orgs, we are imprisoned in our homes”.— Zaina Erhaim (@ZainaErhaim) August 16, 2021
A message I received today from a feminist friend in #Afghanistan. Fearing from neighbours, stomach-ache, helplessness.. This is so painfully familiar. pic.twitter.com/w55tNgP3uL
Al Aan TV journalist Jenan Moussa has quoted a thread by freelance journalist Samira Shackle in which Shackle explains how she has tried to get out a female TV journalist and her children from Afghanistan but now has to continue her efforts with no flights out of the country.
Western countries spent the last two decades using every opportunity to utilise women in Afghanistan as a political talking point and now these women are being left behind to die. Thread 👇 https://t.co/rUlVc7oxEf— Jenan Moussa (@jenanmoussa) August 16, 2021
Some were quick to point fingers, whether it was to blame US ex-president Donald Trump and his staff, or current President Joe Biden.
Here is Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meeting with Mullah Abdul Ghanu Baradar - the co-founder of the Taliban who has taken over Kabul - on November 21, 2020, after the Trump administration helped to secure his release from prison. pic.twitter.com/OIbMJ75QnS— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) August 16, 2021
Former Deputy Minister of Women Affairs Hosna Jalil, on the other hand, believes the ‘blame game’ “won’t help anyone,” while accusing the United States as a whole as failing with its calculations.
The “blame game” won’t help anymore. No matter who but the US as a government failed with its calculation big time. Unfortunately, this failure costs Afghanistan and will cost the US and the rest of the world, sooner or later. https://t.co/FnBdqgrXKH— Hosna Jalil (@hosnajalil) August 14, 2021
“Everyone’s talking about how it’s [the Taliban rule] going to be peaceful. But it’s suffocating. It’s limiting,” Pashtana Zalmai Khan Durrani, Executive Director at LEARN, a non-profit in Afghanistan dedicated to education and resource building with a focus on women and girls’ rights, tells SheThePeople.
“One Ghani will leave, another will take his place,” @BarakPashtana tells me. “In the process, it’s the women who will suffer.”— Tanvi Akhauri ▫️ (@akhauri_) August 15, 2021
The voices of women the world needs to hear:
🧵Stories from #Afghanistan via @SheThePeople https://t.co/g9c6BLVqel
First woman deputy speaker of parliament in Afghanistan and ex-chairperson of Women, Civil Society & Human Rights Commission Fawzia Koofi tweeted that she has tried to be a part of the peace talks in hopes that lives will be saved, but that her hopes were dashed.
A year ago today, I was shot in my arm.— Fawzia Koofi (@FawziaKoofi77) August 14, 2021
The perpetrators are still not identified.100’s of people were killed either in active war or in targeted assassinations. I participated in peace talks with a hope that we will stop loss of lives but It has only escalated ever since. pic.twitter.com/J9GhvHJb2u
And on a bigger scale, founder & CEO of Afghanistan Youth Leaders Assembly (AYLA) Batol Gholami has tweeted her disappointment with the international community.
RIP humanity and Muslim communities.— Batol Gholami (@BatolGholami) August 15, 2021
Afghanistan 🇦🇫 will raise & shine again but we won't forget how you were silent on our tough days.💔#Afghanistan
Thumbnail photo: A member of Taliban forces inspects the area outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan August 16, 2021. (Reuters)
Headline photo: A member of Taliban (C) stands outside Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 16. (Reuters)