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International Journalist of the Year Winner

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The silenced women under the Taliban

Zohra Ehsahni, The Priory Academy LSST

Winner, International Journalist of the Year

After 20 years free of terrorists, on the 15th August 2021, Kabul was officially in the hands of the Taliban. Afghan civilians desperately tried to flee the country by foot, car and even the wings of a plane eagerly trying to seek refuge in the west. Those who manage to escape did and those who didn’t feared for the rest of their lives -especially the women. 

Since mid-August, the women in Afghanistan have been silenced. Using Islam and Allah’s word as a wrongful excuse, the Taliban have restricted females from completing their day to day activities and dreams. Banished from working, expelled from education, no right to independence and covered from head to toe.  

The Taliban have been misogynistic and have used violence against women since its – 1996 – 2001 rule: Apparently, their motive was to create a “secure environment where the chasteness and dignity of women may once again be sacrosanct”‘ Therefore they must wear burqas,  covering their identity from head to toe in public whilst only being able to leave the house accompanied by a male relative. 

An Afghan woman named Barr said that “Burqa is not my main worry, my real worry is my education and work” 

The Taliban had stated that the return of education may be permissible to start in the new academic year, after a 7-month closure, and a corrupted past school year filled with terrorist attacks on their schools: on the 23rdof March, innocent girls put on their uniform happily and walked to school with joy. As they reached the school gates and greeted their distant classmates, they expected a warm welcoming and a happy new Persian year, however… They were told to go back home.  

The Taliban had announced that women could only pursue their education up until the end of primary school – year 6. University and secondary school students had already completed their education and must stay home. “We just want to learn and serve our people” Fatima cried “What kind of country is this? What is our sin?” She went on to say: “You’re always  talking about Islam, does Islam say to harm women like this?” 

If they don’t follow the government rules, they are severely punished. A woman who tried to leave the country with a man she wasn’t related to was stoned to death. Sick women and young girls have lost their lives because male doctors were prohibited, to treat them. Stay home, do nothing, don’t leave the house, don’t learn and don’t work. What else are women supposed to do? Do this do that, when will the women be able to have a say in anything? Wear this wear that- women in Afghanistan are restricted in being human, they only dream for their justice…

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