At Euronews we speak with two Afghan women who tell what life is like in the country two years after the arrival of the Taliban. A future that for them appears discouraging.
Two years have passed since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan, and the fears that a large part of the population harbored about the implications of the new regime have materialized. Women of all ages view their future with pessimism amid a restrictive and oppressive landscape.
Our correspondent Anelise Borges has had the opportunity to speak with a young Afghan woman who has preferred to remain anonymous due to the delicate situation. We asked her what her days in Afghanistan are like these days:
“In general, not only for me, but for millions of girls and women living in this country, their days pass with sadness, pain and disappointment. They have left behind the uncertainty about what the future holds. They face a future uncertain as they are prohibited from participating in various activities. The restrictions have become more severe day by day. For example, they were initially prohibited from going to school, then to universities, and later, not allowed to go to markets or traveling alone without a mahram.
Currently, there are limitations to how far they can travel alone. If a girl travels from one province to another, she must be accompanied by a man, either her brother or her husband. Also, they are prohibited from sitting in the front seat of the car. Even if they go to nearby places, they must sit in the back seat of the vehicle.”
The many bans placed on girls’ and women’s education are worrying because of their long-term impact. Before the violent return of the Taliban, more than 100,000 women were enrolled in public and private universities in Afghanistan. Many of them have turned to online options, such as the University of the People in California, to continue their studies.
“The numbers were so large that we went from accommodating 1,000 to 2,000 students. And the number kept growing. Currently, we have 21,000 Afghan women applying to study at our university. We have accepted 2,500 of them. So 2,500 women are studying currently at People’s University, and we wish we could host even more,” says Shai Reshef, president of People’s University.
The future of Afghanistan is uncertain. We don’t know what the country will be like in five or ten years. However, both we and our students there believe that if there is an opportunity for a better future, we must pursue it and provide that opportunity to those who wish to be a part of it.
The Taliban are just one of the many obstacles Afghan women face in continuing their education. In addition, they fight against the lack of internet access and quality electricity. The insurgent government insists it has ended 40 years of conflict. However, Afghan women are asking: at what cost?
“Peace does not simply mean the absence of war. To me, peace means having the right to yourself, the right to choose. We, as part of this society, are marginalized and have no rights in this country. The situation is not good for us, and it gets worse day by day,” says another young Afghan woman.
Additional sources • Translated by Blanca Castro
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