Taliban enter Kabul
Afghan women and girls fear return to "dark days"

The Taliban’s rapid-fire advance through Afghanistan has left women and girls, a whole generation of whom have grown up with rights and freedoms, among the most vulnerable. Now they stand to lose those hard-won gains as the Taliban seize control of Kabul. Nicole Trian reports

As the Taliban complete their dramatic sweep through Afghanistan, pouring into the capital they were driven out of two decades ago, women and girls are among the most vulnerable. Afghan women have been targeted for speaking out against attacks by the Taliban or simply for holding positions of authority.

Since the start of 2021 civilian deaths have risen by almost 50 percent, with more women and children killed and wounded in Afghanistan than in the first six months of any year since records began in 2009, the UN reported in July. 

The Afghan government has blamed most targeted killings on the Taliban, who deny carrying out assassinations. 

As the Islamist insurgents enter the capital, many fear a disintegration of women’s rights, with the Taliban overturning the freedoms gained during the 20 years since US-led forces helped oversee the country’s transition to democracy. 

"The Taliban will regress freedom at all levels and that is what we are fighting against," an Afghan government spokesperson commented on 13 August. "Women and children are suffering the most and our forces are trying to save democracy. The world should understand and help us."


© France24 with Reuters and AP 2021



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