The Taliban’s Cruelty; A Discourse Over Women Rights in Afghanistan

By: Jamal Nazari

It is peculiar that many religions and philosophies have declared their approval of male-dominated societies in the past. In other words, religions have created regulations that link male supremacy to the will of God.

The Taliban’s Inhumane Treatment of Afghan women

Although it is uncomfortable to discuss violence and cruelty in this era when all civilizations boast of their higher moral values, we must also acknowledge that human-on-human violence still exists in some parts of the world. Greed and the desire to dominate and impose one’s beliefs on others are two forms of violence and cruelty that have been present since the dawn of humanity. These types of cruelty and violence often take the form of the powerful oppressing the weak, the wealthy exploiting the poor, and the cruel victimizing the innocent. However, the violence and cruelty discussed in this article are far more severe and repugnant. It is the violence of men against women, which has been present in the world since the beginning of time and is especially prevalent in male-dominated societies, with no end in sight.

Violence against Afghan women is not a new topic of conversation, as it has been present in Afghanistan for centuries. It is undeniable that the Taliban increased the violence, but we should be aware that they did not create it. There are many factors that contribute to gender-based violence, which we cannot cover in this article. However, I am confident that there is a wealth of information about this topic available online. There are three perspectives from which we can examine this issue:

1 – The Role of Culture and Tradition

Afghanistan is one of many male-dominated societies which have a long history of violence against women. Traditional cultures, while not necessarily created with the intention of oppressing women, have been a major factor in the perpetuation of male-dominated systems, which often involve marginalizing women, denying them rights, and treating them as objects to be bought and sold. Men are seen as the ones who have the power to assign a value to women without their consent.

A male-dominated society is able to survive due to the disregard for women’s rights and the enforcement of certain political, economic, and social rules. This is further perpetuated by traditional cultures and extreme religious beliefs that oppress women in Afghanistan. Misogynistic expressions used by Afghan men have caused women to be marginalized and isolated, demonstrating how a male-dominated society disregards women’s rights and capabilities. As a result, women are forced to conform to a male-dominated society rather than challenging traditional views and beliefs.

2 – The Role of Religious Beliefs

Religious societies often overlook misogyny and display anti-women behavior. Looking back at the history of religions, we can see that Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam all have different rights for men and women. The story of Adam and Eve is shared by many religions, in which Eve tempts Adam to eat the forbidden fruit in paradise, leading to God expelling them from paradise. This story implies that women are seen as seductive and deceitful, which has created an environment of misogyny in countries such as Afghanistan.

The Taliban often assert that they do not have any issues with women and are simply following the rules of their religion. This is correct, as it is their religion that imposes numerous restrictions on women. Therefore, we should not criticize the leaders who misinterpret the religious instructions that were passed down to them from their predecessors.

3 – The Role of Political Views

Radical religious groups have often used religious beliefs to oppress societies that support women’s rights. This has been seen in the past century, such as when traditional religious believers rebelled against King Amanullah and his wife Queen Suraya’s attempts to modernize Afghan society. In the past twenty years, extremist groups such as the Taliban have used their opposition to women’s rights as a justification for their Jihad against foreign soldiers. This has led to a situation where the only difference between the Taliban and other regimes is women’s rights, which is a highly contentious issue. Unfortunately, the Taliban are unwilling to even discuss women’s rights.

We should be aware that the Taliban’s mistreatment of Afghan women is based on contentious customs, male-dominated cultures, and extreme views of women, which can be traced back to Afghanistan’s long history. This trinity of beliefs has always hindered Afghans from achieving their rights, modernization, civilization, and progress in the country.

The Solution

Women in Afghanistan are protesting the Taliban’s extreme views on women, which is necessary for the current situation in Afghanistan. There are many actions that need to be taken in order to bring about significant changes in the country.

Awareness and education are one of the solutions to the challenges faced in Afghanistan. Although it may be difficult to see rapid change, both men and women should continue to fight for their basic rights and oppose any oppressive traditional cultures and beliefs. Another solution is to update and simplify the existing laws that are preventing Afghan citizens, especially women and girls, from having their rights. People should also continue to fight against these injustices. Secularism is an effective political system that can promote social change based on international law and bring prosperity to people in Afghanistan. In addition to secularism, social change, and the implementation of international law, democracy should also be implemented in society.