What is happening…
Ever since the US troops have receded from Afghanistan, The Taliban forces have soared high claiming their victory against US-led forces. The Taliban is infamously known for committing atrocities against kids and females in the country are back to their old ways.
Taliban forces across northern Afghanistan have forcibly displaced residents and burned homes as apparent retaliation for cooperating with the Afghan government. The Taliban have captured scores of district centers throughout the country, including an estimated 150 districts in Kunduz and other northern provinces.
Taliban fighters looted and burned down homes. They claimed that they had ordered people to leave “for their safety,” and denied responsibility for looting or burning houses, but they have frequently committed abuses against civilians for allegedly assisting the government. This has left many people starving and jobless.
International humanitarian law prohibits attacks on civilians and civilian property, including looting and burning. Deliberate attacks on civilians are war crimes. The forced displacement of civilians is unlawful unless required for the security of the affected civilians or is necessary for military reasons. Retaliatory attacks are a form of collective punishment and are also prohibited.
Many Afghans who hoped the Taliban would reform their extreme views amid ongoing talks with the Afghan government and the U.S. troop withdrawal have been disappointed by the new severe restrictions imposed on the local population in some of the districts that they have recently captured, ordering locals to follow strict rules that are similar to those they imposed on Afghans when they last governed the country from 1996 to 2001.
“They want to impose the restrictions that were imposed on women under their rule,” said Nahida, a 34-year-old resident of Balkh district, adding that the restrictions targeting women include “not leaving our houses without a male companion and wearing hijab.”
In Afghanistan, 57% of girls are married before they are 19. The most common ages for girls to get married are 15 and 16. The Taliban have issued a “diktat” (decree) reportedly asking Afghan residents to marry off their teen daughters to fighters in the terror group. In a statement shared online, the terror group has directed local leaders to prepare a list of all girls above 15 and widows under 45 to be married as ‘sex slaves’ to the group’s foot soldiers. All the girls and women, as per the Taliban, would be married to the insurgents, converted into Islam, and “reintegrated” into the society.
The female’s role is reduced to a sex worker for the fighters and could be publicly executed if they are denied doing so. The males are forced to grow beards and develop an authoritative attitude against the females in their families.
With uncertainty deemed in Afganistan’s future actions, what can we as readers do to support the civilians and young girls of the country?
- Amplify their voices – You can share such stories with your friends and family or on social media. It will help more people learn about such crises.
- Donate to funds – United nations has recently opened a fund to support the civilians:
- Sign Petitions – You can sign petitions by demanding your leaders to extend support to the Afghan government.
- Get Involved in UN programs – UNICEF has recently created a toolkit to help children of Afghanistan receive ‘quality education’ :
About the Author
Ipsita Thakre (إارا) is a 15-year-old Indian-Libyan environmentalist based in India. She tries her best to stand up for women’s rights and empower young girls to rebel against domestic violence. She is currently pursuing STEM education and aspires to become an aerospace engineer.
Visit her Instagram page: @earthcon._