Photo by Ali Hossaini, Noor S. F., Lorenz Deutch

Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

According to the United Nations, the latest figures for Afghanistan’s population are 33 million, with 16.1 million females and 16.9 million males.

In Afghanistan, being born a girl is not a good outcome for most families because in the future she won’t be able to help her family financially.

According to UN law, all people in the world must have equal access to education services, but under the current government of the Taliban, girls only have the right to an education from the age of 7 to 14. Women also have many restrictions on employment and finding suitable jobs, and they are banned from working in most jobs.

In Afghanistan, women are only used to have children and do housework, and they must endure this cruelty and violence.

According to the United Nations Exploratory Fund (UNIFEM), 57% of marriages in Afghanistan are forced, 70 to 80% of brides are minors, and this traditional custom provides many problems for girls and women.

Currently, most marriages in Afghanistan are arranged and without the right for girls to choose. The chosen husband may have twice the age of the girl. There are also very strict laws for women in society, including a compulsory hijab, wearing black clothing, covering the face with a black mask, and women are not allowed to wear any non-black colour.

One of the greatest restrictions and racial and inhuman discrimination for women is not being allowed to go to public and recreational places, even restaurants, without the companion of the man of Mahram1. This cruelty is a clear violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The Taliban’s goal in establishing these restrictions on Afghan women is to destroy their identity and personality and to enslave them, by undermining three important principles that are human dignity, freedom and equal rights among the people of this country.

Not having a female representative in the Taliban government is one of the biggest reasons they miss the opportunity to defend their rights. They continue to be subjected to violence from society, their spouses and even fathers who use girls and women for their own whim and personal gain.

In 2023, this trend is still underway in Afghan society. Lastly, here are some of the rights that Afghan girls and women have taken from them under the current Taliban government, from their birth to adulthood: freedom, joy, dancing and singing, expressions of emotion, talent flourishing, self-confidence, defending social rights, power of choice, and so much more. If I mention all of them it’s going to be big, long list.

I hope that someday every human being could defend their rights in each corner of this great world.

1 The only male that is allowed to see the woman without the hijab.

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