Mothers: The Primary Victims of Taliban Policies
Yearly, on numerous occasions, the people of Afghanistan invoke the name of mothers and women. A substantial group of our compatriots celebrate the stature of mothers and women during these events. A portion of these occasions hold local and religious significance, while others possess international resonance. A mere two days prior, the status of mothers was honored in various media outlets, with numerous individuals sending messages filled with love and gratitude to the mothers and women within their families.
In the period preceding the Taliban, these occasions were marked by public campaigns. Television broadcasts, offices, and institutions would dedicate time to discuss and inform the public about the conditions women face, as well as the deprivations they endure. Practical steps were also undertaken to ensure women’s rights, and endeavors were made to alleviate their deprivations, particularly in the prevention of maternal mortality during pregnancy and childbirth.
Access to medical facilities for mothers, notably in regions where the Taliban lacked influence, had drastically curbed maternal mortality rates. Practices such as family planning and the spacing of births were increasingly adopted within certain societal sectors. The education and elevation of women’s awareness contributed to the reduction of forced marriages. Among the hundreds of thousands of women engaged in work and study, the age of marriage had risen. These women played a significant role in the formation of healthier and more capable families.
Over time, the expanding group of women and families influenced society constructively, setting a positive example. This growth instilled hope that the country would gradually overcome the expensive problems and numerous obstacles, which imposed a state of backwardness on women, and in turn, the entire society. However, with the resurgence of the Taliban, these hopes were dashed for an indeterminate period.
Currently, mothers are officially held hostage, with the Taliban relegating them to the status of sex slaves and baby-making machines. The Taliban have eradicated everything that provides mothers with the independence and consciousness necessary for managing personal, familial, and social lives. They have disbanded the Ministry of Women’s Affairs, replacing it with an institution whose primary mission is the enforcement of restrictions on women. Women’s education, study, and work, crucial elements in the material and spiritual empowerment of mothers, are declared anti-emirate and unlawful.
The Taliban have prohibited the distribution of health facilities, an integral part of assisting women in family planning and birth spacing. As a consequence of these policies, mothers are confronting unparalleled deprivation and painful circumstances, shortening their lives and filling them with immense pain and suffering.
In a country grappling with administrative, economic, and environmental crises, forced and early marriages are endorsed, contributing to the rise in the number of starving children and those lacking essential facilities. Thus, the governance of the Taliban has bound the defenceless society with a chain of backwardness, illiteracy, poverty, and disease, with mothers bearing the brunt of these adversities.
In close to two years, numerous protests against the Taliban’s anti-women policies have been staged. A group of women, through courageous protests and hitting the streets, have become an inspiration. Across the country, and even in remote areas long under the Taliban’s grip, open and clandestine protests have been observed. Those with access to the media have made concerted efforts to amplify women’s voices.
Foreign institutions have likewise submitted reports and staged protests. Yet, no breakthrough has materialized, and the Taliban continue to tighten their stranglehold on women’s lives. Given these circumstances, even if no other reason existed to condemn the Taliban rule and necessitate a fight against it, rescuing women from the prison that they have designated as the Emirate obliges everyone, particularly those who love their mothers, sisters, daughters, and wives, to wage a battle against the Taliban.