Gender apartheid during Taliban 2.0

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Naseebullah khan

Sane are those who learn from past mistakes and adapt themselves according to the new challanges by competing the world with the help of their women folk. Regrettably, the Taliban government of Afghanistan is short of it. The history of Taliban rule has not been impressive with regard to women rights. Taliban have been repeating the two decades old policies yet. A game of hide and seek has been going on in Afghanistan where sometime women are barred from getting education, sometime they are not allowed without a mohran (Guardian), whereas, sometimes they have been advised to wear veil. In offices, in Media houses, in educational institutions, and in hospitals many of the Afghan women have left their jobs owing to the current restrictions. Recently, the Taliban has announced a gender apartheid, according to which female workers in offices, schools, and hospitals are not allowed to talk with males. In July 2022 statement, the Amnsety international said that women are forcibly disappeared, women protestors are detained, and tortured. A huge increase in child, early, and forced marriages have been seen. Since the fall of Kabul in August 2021, the Afghan women have been deprived of their fundamental rights of job, movement, and education and from getting many opportunities which could help their bright future. Foreign scholarship have been providing to the Afghan women for two decades but now, the Taliban have imposed restrictions and are not allowing women to go abroad without a chaperone. As per a report of December 2021 published by the UN women, in women, peace, and security Afghanistan ranked 170 out of 170. The report says that 60 percent out of school children are girls. Only 4.9 percent women are accessing teriary education campared to 14.2 percent of men. The girls literacy rate that was 30 percent prior to the Taliban,s takeover has dropped blatantly. Restrictions such as gender segregation in universities have further affected women education.The Afghan women have been facing bitter constraints in work places.Many women have been told to send a male relative for work in their place and ordred women to stay at home. The Guardian estimates by quoting the UNDP that barring women from work will cost a loss of 1 billion USD equal to 5 percent of the GDP to the Afghan economy. The SIGAR (US special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction) says that women employment is expected to fall 21 percent by mid 2022. More, the ILO also fears that women employment will decrease between 21 to 28 percent by mid 2022. Not to talk of women participation in politics or cabinet where there is no representation of women at current and the cabinet is dominanted by all male members. Women apertheid in Taliban, s Afghanistan is a bitter reality. It reflects that the current regime of the Taliban has not learnt from history yet. There are many more challenges which the people of Afghanistan are facing such as food insecurity, poverty, hunger, healthcare devestation, international recognition of the government, bad governance, economic meltdown, political instability, unemployment, and much more. It is better Taliban focus on these rather than wasting energies on women apertheid and gender segregation. Will sanity prevail?

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