The Taliban, during their rule between 1996 and 2001 in Afghanistan, had banned women from leaving anywhere unaccompanied by a man. They went so far as to force them to cover their bodies and work only in healthcare. The recent takeover of Afghanistan has people from all 34 provinces waiting for word on the nature of the regime.
Locals and business owners have been forced to follow the new rule of law. CNN reported that many Afghans felt there was an overall sense of improved security since the arrival of the Taliban.
However, there has been a brewing conflict between the Taliban’s insistence on a new social order and the need for locals to make money. Businesses have been ravaged and employees have been going without pay for months. Availability of healthcare has also become one of the major concerns.
"Prices are high. Everything is very expensive," said a fruit seller at a market in Paktika province to CNN. "Our situation is not good."
While the Taliban have made their presence in rural areas known, they are yet to provide assurance to Afghans. "We don't know who is in charge; only lower rank people are here and we don't know if we can trust (them)," the fruit seller said. "They are not telling us anything and the situation has not improved."
Although poverty had been a major cause of concern for so long in Afghanistan, ever since the takeover, the country’s economy has plummeted even beyond measure. International agencies, including the World Bank and IMF, have pulled the funding in the region and millions have been rendered helpless and unable to access their savings due to weeks-long bank closures.
"A humanitarian catastrophe looms," UN Secretary-General António Guterres said last week. "People are losing access to basic goods and services every day."