Women in Afghanistan
Brief Outline of Afghanistan History:
1910’s-1920’s : Reform movements in Afghanistan
1933-1973 : Some reform, country remains fairly static
1978-1992 : Democratic Republic of Afghanistan
1979-1989 : Soviet Intervention
1992-1996: Islamist Mujanidin
1996-2001 : Taliban
2001-Present : U.S. Occupation, new government
The reason I chose to study Islamic Feminism and Afghanistan, is that for many people, these words do not belong in the same sentence. Afghanistan has come to be recognized as a country that follows strict and fundamentalist Islam, hindering the lives of women and even damaging their lives. Since I entered high school, Afghanistan has been known to me and my generation as a country ruled by the Taliban. Many of the stereotypes and stigmas Westerners put on conservative Islam stem from the images our media has covered regarding the Taliban rule. First, I will go through a brief explanation and summary of the Taliban organization to gain a framework.
The Taliban is an Islamic movement, which ruled most of Afghanistan from 1996-2001. Most of the leaders, including the founder of the movement, Mullah Mohammed Omar, were simple Islamic religious scholars with limited education and little exposure to modern thought in the Islamic community. However, the word Taliban translates from the language of Pashtun to mean: religious students. After the fall of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan in 1992, Afghanistan fell into trouble. The Taliban emerged at this time as a force that brought order to the chaos. Economic, social and political benefits came about because of the Taliban, which gained popularity for the group and for the movement. The United States was among the initial supporters of the Taliban.
The Taliban started to gain recognition as the group took initiative in civil justice. The Taliban became responsible for punishing those who committed crimes by killing the criminals. These acts started a small fear in the Afghanistan people. Soon, the Taliban group became a well armed and well funded militia with the support of a province in Pakistan. As soon as fear stirred among the Afghani people, the president of Afghanistan, Burhanuddin Rabbani, tried to create an alliance against the Taliban in Kabul, the capitol. This alliance fell through, and the president eventually fled Afghanistan. In December of 1995, the Taliban took hold of Afghanistan as a result.
On May 25th, 1997, Pakistan recognized the Taliban as the Government of Afghanistan, the following day, Saudi Arabia also made this recognition. In August of 1998, the United States had become suspicious of the Taliban forces, and the U.S. fired five missals at Afghanistan because of suspicions that the Taliban was behind the bombings of the U.S. embassies in East Africa.
At its height, the Taliban was recognized by Pakistan, by the United Arab Emirates and by Saudi Arabia. It then controlled all of...