They are not separated by even three meters. Afghan journalist Beheshta Arghand and Taliban media official Mawlawi Abdul Haq Hamad. For example, the whole world can see that the Taliban are allowing themselves to give an interview to a woman on the Afghan news channel TOLONews. On the same day, they also invited women to join a new government.
It is an image that fits with the campaign the Taliban have been waging since they came to power. Show that they have become moderate. A Taliban spokesperson assured them during their first press conference today that women do not need to worry under Taliban rule. But many women worry. They no longer dare to speak out and do not take to the streets as a precaution.
“I’m basically at home. But it’s clear that we women will lose our freedoms,” M wrote in a personal message on Instagram from Kabul. There are hours, sometimes half a day, between contact. She wrote again: “It’s scary that women are out now.”
I feel empty inside
Now that the Taliban has invaded Afghanistan, the future of Afghan women and girls is uncertain. The extremist group is notorious for being very conservative. Under their rule in the late 1990s, which lasted five years, girls were not allowed to go to school and women were not allowed to work outside the home. How realistic is the group update?
Young N, who we also spoke to via Instagram, also has strong skepticism. N.’s Instagram timeline is filled with cheerful and colorful photos. The picture from yesterday is different: she is sitting with her back to the camera. The caption read: “I’ve worked hard for my future. I give everything for who I am now, but the Taliban want to destroy it. They want to take me back to 20 years ago.”
In a personal letter, N wrote that she no longer goes to her office and does not actually go out. She is skeptical of the Taliban’s promises: “They have always broken their promises. We don’t believe that.” Letters (N) express her anger at the Afghans being left to their own devices. “We are human too, we deserve to live a dignified life too.”
The Taliban has not yet knocked on its door, as it has in other provinces. But she sees them outside on the street. The future is bleak for N, despite what the Taliban say today. “I feel empty inside, as if I have nothing left to live for.” She writes, she has no hope now.
At a press conference in Kabul, a Taliban spokesman said that women’s rights are respected provided they comply with Islamic law:
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