Atrocities In Afganistan (Women)

This essay has a total of 1142 words and 6 pages.

Atrocities In Afganistan (Women)

(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.

The current situation in Afghanistan contrasts the old one as black does white. Few women
are permitted to work. Those who are must do so inside their homes (Stop). Girls are
banned from attending school after the age of eight (Stop). A journalist speaks of girls
not being allowed to leave the state orphanage building since 1996 although the boys go
outside every day to attend school and play (Stop). The Taliban have severely limited
women's access to medical services because male physicians aren't allowed to treat women
and only a few selected female physicians can work only if they are veiled and treat only
women (Stop).

The punishments for violating the Taliban's laws are even more appalling than the laws
themselves and are among the most savage in the world. Often the punishments are dealt out
in public in front of thousands of spectators. 30,000 men and boys gathered in an arena to
eat biscuits and drink tea while watching women receiving the 100-lash penalty for being
in public without a man (Shanahan). A woman had her thumb cut off at the tip for wearing
nail polish (Women). In March 1997 a woman was stoned to death in Eastern Afghanistan. The
married woman had been caught attempting to flee the district with another man. She was
found guilty of adultery for which the punishment was death by stoning (Women). Thieves
have their limbs amputated and murderers are publicly executed by their victim's family.

The Taliban base their laws on their bastardized version of Islamic religion. They claim
that their version is a pure one that follows a literal interpretation of the Muslim holy
book, The Koran (Afghanistan). Apparently this is how they justify the horrific actions
towards their own people, especially Afghan women. It is difficult to imagine a country
where such atrocities are justified by a religion when you live in a country where
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