Friday, August 12, 2022

Women’s Rights and lives at risk under the new Taliban’s Sharia Law

Background:

Afghanistan is the country that was once called the Graveyard of Empires in the year 1990s. This is probably the only country in the world where peace does not last long. War has been the misfortune of this country. Afghanistan has suffered it from time to time and now it has again reached where it was 20 years ago.

Further it is a country that has seen many phases of the war. In 1893 and 1919, the British rule fought three wars over Afghanistan. The First Anglo-Afghan War was the war in which the British Army entered the country in large numbers. When the Hindukush hills are covered with snow in winter, the British Army carried out the massacre in Afghanistan. In 1842, 4500 soldiers died and about 12000 civilians were killed. The Second Anglo-Afghan War fought between 1878 and 1880. In 1919, the Third Afghan-Anglo War took place. 

For decades, Afghanistan was a laboratory for the most powerful countries in the world to show their strength and power. After the 9/11, the way America’s army stepped, it was believed that the situation could be better. However, it could not happen.

Present situation:

The current situation in Afghanistan is that the Taliban has taken control of the whole of Afghanistan including Kandahar and its capital Kabul. US-trained soldiers of Afghanistan are running from their own country to save their lives. These soldiers are hiding in Tajikistan and Turkmenistan to save their lives. Even Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has left the country.

With the Taliban taking over the Afghan capital, Kabul, thousands of people have started leaving the country. Most of them include those who fear the harsh and brutal regime of the Taliban. Taliban leaders themselves have said that Afghanistan will no longer be a democracy. It will be run under the Sharia law of Islam. Sharia Law is the legal system of Islam from the book of Islam, Quran, Sunnah and Hadith. The literal meaning of Sharia is ‘a clear and orderly way of water’. 

Taliban repression:

The thinking of the Taliban is very radical and conservative. Hence, even after assurances, people believe that the Taliban rule will be very violent and repressive. When Taliban leaders were talking about giving rights to women after taking Kabul, even at that time Taliban men shot and killed a woman for not wearing a hijab. In such a situation, the question arises the Taliban gets the right to kill someone under Sharia law? 

Condition of Women:

After conquering Afghanistan, Taliban groups are hunting for sex slaves and are targeting youngsters as young as 12 years old. Taliban leaders are said to regard unmarried — or widowed — women and girls between the ages of 12 and 45 as “qhanimat,” or spoils of war and they are to be distributed among their warriors. Taliban gunmen are said to have already killed a lady wearing “tight clothes”. Women in other places instructed they must leave the house with a male guardian. After taking control of the provinces of Badakhshan and Takhar in early July, Taliban officials issued an order to local religious authorities to give them a list of females over the age of 15 and widows under the age of 45 for marriage with Taliban fighters. 

Before the arrival of US forces in Afghanistan (until about 20 years ago) there was already a Taliban regime. During that time, women imprisoned in their homes under restricted rules. While, when it comes to male friends, women are absolutely not allowed to meet boys above the age of 12 and men from outside the family.

Previous standing:

In the previous Taliban regime, education was allowed for women, but they were absolutely not allowed to attend normal schools, colleges and madrasas where men also study. Not only this, singing is prohibited under Sharia. The Taliban are known to inflict severe punishment on women who are interested in singing and dancing. Apart from this, the modelling of women is also strictly prohibited. The printing of photos and posters of women in any newspaper or book is also prohibited.

Women are not allowed to dress up under the Taliban regime. According to the law, it is mandatory for girls above 8 years to wear a burqa while going out with a male member of the family. Apart from this, it is necessary for them to be in a burqa even while talking to someone else outside the house. There are also restrictions on women wearing high-heels. According to the law, women should walk in such a way that no one can hear the sound of their feet.

The Taliban are notorious for giving harsh punishment to women who break Sharia law. Women who broke strict Sharia rules during the previous regime were punished with public torture, whipping and stoning to death in the crowd. In the coming times, we can only hope and expect that the self-esteem of women living in Afghanistan is not hurt. Above all, at the present time, it does not seem to be possible.

Also, Read| TIME OUTWEIGHS MONEY

Adarsh Kumar Jha
Adarsh Kumar Jha is currently pursuing BA in the Centre of Russian Studies in the School of language, literature, and Cultural Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University. He likes to read about Russian history and international politics among other issues. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram: @Adarshjha_jnu

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