A Brief Look at Women’s Rights In Afghanistan

By: An Afghan Citizen

Despite making up half of the population in many societies, women are still seen as vulnerable. It is clear that women are often marginalized and denied basic rights. The Taliban have used violence and taken away the rights of Afghan women based on their own misinterpretation of Islam.

According to Islam, women have the exclusive right to begin their political careers. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), women had the right to do everything, even to take part in Jihad. After the Muslims conquered Mecca, women declared their allegiance to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) separately, which is known as “Islamic Allegiance” in Islamic history and demonstrates how women were involved in politics during the rise of Islam. Furthermore, Islam allows women to have political, social, economic, and cultural activities in their societies independently. Looking back at Islamic history, it is clear how courageous women made their mark by participating in social and political affairs. For example, Khadija, the wife of the Prophet Muhammad, was a successful businesswoman who invested all her profits in the religion to spread it across the country. Additionally, Zainab, the daughter of Hazrat Ali, taught the Quran in the city of Kufa and played a major role in the Battle of Karbala.

Due to a misunderstanding of Islam, the Taliban have denied Afghan women the right to education and work, which is actually not prohibited by Islam. Afghans, especially women, feel threatened and powerless after the fall of the republic and the Taliban’s return to power in 2021. It is undeniable that Afghan youth, including women and girls, have made great strides in terms of education, art, and politics in the past two decades. However, the return of an extremist group like the Taliban has caused Afghanistan to regress to its pre-modern state, erasing all the progress made by the Afghan women.

Afghan women, are now fighting for their basic rights against the Taliban, a criminal and ignorant group. They are sacrificing themselves, being imprisoned and tortured, and losing their rights to education and work due to the Taliban’s misogyny and ignorance. We should not only blame the Taliban, as their supporters, who claim to be defenders of human rights, have also had a devastating impact on Afghanistan. The Taliban’s supporters give them millions of dollars to oppress Afghan women in various strategic ways.

In summary, the Taliban and their allies should be aware that their reign will not last, as none of the most powerful rulers in history have been able to maintain control in Afghanistan. I believe that courageous Afghan women will make history by standing up to the Taliban. Ultimately, Afghan women will be proud of their role in shaping the future of Afghanistan.