(NOTE TO STUDENT: my teacher gave me a B+ and said I would have had an A if I had had more detail on the Taliban's reasons for these laws)
The women of Afghanistan have been enduring unfathomable suffering since the Taliban, a religious faction, seized control of the country in 1996. (NOTE TO STUDENT: my teacher gave me a B+ and said I would have had an A if I had had more detail on the Taliban's reasons for these laws) Since 1996 Afghan women have been living fear for their safety and lives. A myriad of discriminating laws has been placed on Afghan women. The punishments for violating these laws are unimaginably inhuman.
The Taliban is an ultra-fundamentalist group that has 90 percent of Afghanistan under its control (Taliban). When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991 Islamic factions united to expel the Russian occupiers from Afghanistan (Afghanistan). The new government that had formed soon collapsed from the deep-rooted ethnic and religious differences of its members (Afghanistan). The Taliban emerged victorious from the ensuing civil war to establish a reign of terror on the Afghan people (Afghanistan).
The women of Afghanistan have ended up bearing most of the weight from the oppressive hand of the Taliban. A woman is no longer allowed to be seen in public with out wearing a cumbersome burqa, a robe that covers the entire body from head to toe with only a small mesh screen to see and breath through. “I feel like I am invisible.” Claims one woman, “Nobody knows whether I’m smiling or crying…” She then explains how hard it is to see through the mesh screen (Shanahan). There have been accounts of women being run over by tanks because they couldn’t see through their burqa (Shanahan). Not only are women not allowed in public without the burqa, they must also be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative, when outside their homes (Women). When they are inside their homes, women must have the blinds pulled or the windows painted black so others can’t see them from the street (Women). A Taliban representative explains the logic behind these laws: “The face of a woman is a source of corruption for men who are not related to them.” (Women). So what does a woman do when she needs to go outside and there is no man to accompany her? One woman was shot while running through the streets with her sick child. She was on her way to get medical help for the child (Shanahan). Another woman was beaten to death for exposing her wrist while driving (Shanahan).
Before the Taliban took over Afghanistan the country was fairly progressive in terms of women’s rights. There were women in Parliament, medicine, law, engineering and many other creditable professions (Shanahan). The majority of teachers were women (Shanahan). Half of the civil servants and university students were women (Shanahan). It seems the Afghan society was much like our own in relation to gender equality....