Despite the protests of women in the streets, the Taliban appear to have remained largely the same since the days they ruled the roost in the 1990s.

With the return of the Islamic fundamentalist group to power, Afghan women fear losing the rights they have won over the past two decades.

Taliban rulers have contradicted their public promises on rights, including by ordering women to stay at home, blocking teenage girls from school and holding house-to-house searches for former foes.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said that “In contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women’s rights, over the past three weeks, women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere.”

menacing men talking to Afghan women wearing a veil

Taliban members try to stop the advance of protesters marching through Kabul’s Dasht-e-Barchi neighborhood in September.Marcus Yam/Los Angeles Times via Getty Image

Mahbouba Seraj, an activist for women’s and children’s rights in Kabul, said she will stay and try to dialogue with the Taliban.”If the women of Afghanistan, those who are involved and we have been working, could sit at the table and talk to these people (the militants), they could be smart and realize the resources they have with the women of Afghanistan,” she said.
“Because before that, before the Taliban, neither the world nor our own republic really saw the strength of Afghan women.”
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How can we help Afghan women?

The International Women’s Media Foundation had launched a campaign to support women journalists in Afghanistan, as they are among the most at-risk populations in the country for reasons of revenge, retribution, and long-standing prejudice against their voices in any public arena.
The IWMF and its partners have raised millions of dollars to support humanitarian efforts in the country and help women journalists survive this crisis.
However, they will continue needing our support. Those who are relocated will need assistance to restart in a new place, while those who remain in-country will need support through safe-houses and other resources.
Please consider donating to contribute directly to women journalists in need in the country and attempting to flee.

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