No education, strict dress code: How women were in previous Taliban rule
- The videos showed women shouting slogans and demanding equal rights.
- Taliban has chosen to limit women’s movements, right to education and healthcare.
- Any violation of these rule would result in public beatings.
Enamullah Samangani, a member of the Taliban’s cultural commission on Tuesday said, "The Islamic Emirate doesn’t want women to be victims." Taliban, in its first press conference after taking over Kabul in Afghanistan, its spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said, "We are going to allow women to work and study. We have got frameworks, of course. Women are going to be very active in the society but within the framework of Islam."
Within hours of such assurances, social media were set abuzz after videos of several women groups holding placards and protesting the Taliban rule went viral. The videos showed women shouting slogans and demanding equal rights while being surrounded by armed Taliban fighters.
The protests are not uncalled for, given that the earlier Taliban rule between 1996 and 2001 was ridden with oppressions on women in the backdrop of a staunch patriarchal set-up.
With the rift in interpretation, it can be seen that Taliban has chosen to limit women’s movements, right to education and healthcare and went up to the extent of public executions in cases of deviations from the set rules.
Taliban restricts access to healthcare:
With a strict prohibition of male-female contact, the Taliban rule states that segregation of patients and staff of the two sexes into different hospitals. A journal of American University Washington College of Law written by Stephanie Dubitsky in 1999 mentions how the healthcare crisis was affecting the women of Afghanistan.
How education is denied to women by Taliban?
Though the Taliban has now claim that they are not against the education for women, in a 2002 ILSA Journal of International and Comparative Law, a report titled ‘The Invisible Women: The Taliban’s Oppression Of Women In Afghanistan’, the international association of law students said, "Most educational opportunities offered to women and girls abruptly ended when the Taliban took control of Kabul in 1996."
In the report, it further said, “There are a few home based schools and schools in the rural areas of the country that operate secretly, offering limited educational opportunities to girls; however, they live under constant fear of severe punishment for disobedience of the Taliban’s law prohibiting educational facilities for females.
Restriction on movement for women:
According to Taliban rule, women had to always be accompanied by male chaperone and were only allowed to board taxis with them. Any violation of this rule would result in beatings.
Dress code for women:
On Tuesday, Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen had said that burqas are not mandatory and clarified only hijabs are, the fear among women of Afghanistan is visible as memories of public beatings and executions are still fresh in their minds.
In its earlier rule, Taliban had a dress code for women. The rule prohibited women on the streets without burqas and if caught without one, they would be subjected to beatings on the streets.