Afghanistan: The Crisis the News Conveniently Forgot

Sofía Stiletano

In case you forgot (like most of the world has), it's been a year this week since the Taliban took over Afghanistan. Worst affected have been the women and girls, losing access to public spaces, work, healthcare and travel - and much, much more!

  • 28% of Afghan women are married before the age of 18.
  • 1/3 of the country is facing starvation due to food insecurity.
  • Over 820,000 displaced Afghans due to conflict.
  • Over 120,000 civilians were evacuated by the US.
  • Over 90% of the population is below the poverty line.
  • 500,000 workers have lost their jobs.
  • Women’s jobs are estimated to have decreased by 16%.
  • 770,000 boys and 300,000 girls are child labourers.
  • Billions of dollars of American financial aid were frozen in 2022, heavily affecting Afghanistan’s public budget.

Read more: Ukraine: Refugees, Reporting & Redefining Equality

The Taliban & Afghanistan Crisis in short

  • The Taliban emerged in the 1990s, formed by Afghan guerilla groups called the Mujahideen and financed by the American CIA and Pakistani ISI to resist Soviet occupation.
  • They ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until 2001.
  • The Taliban are now an Islamic fundamentalist organization whose intention has been to establish an Islamic Emirate in Afghanistan under Sharia law.
  • They regained full control of the country in August 2021 when they seized control of the country’s capital Kabul after months of armed conflict.
  • The US decided to pull troops out of the country by September 2021

The effects on Afghan women & girls

  • All women are forced to wear a hijab.
  • Women were prohibited from appearing on television.
  • Women in the workplace were forced to wear hijab or even lost their jobs completely.
  • Women were banned from political life, reducing the number of female parliamentarians from 25% to 0%.
  • Rates of disappearances, detentions, and extrajudicial killings against women have increased.
  • Condemned prisoners and Taliban fighters are ransacking the homes of the female judges that imprisoned them.
  • Access to public administration has been restricted due to the lack of women officials.
  • Women now face issues in healthcare access — they are required to attend healthcare facilities with a “mahram” or chaperone.
  • Women can’t travel further than 72 km/45 miles without a mahram.
  • Women are no longer allowed to fly locally or internationally without a mahram.
  • Schools are closed for girls above 6th grade in most provinces.
  • LGBTIQ+ rights are not recognized by Sharia law and consensual same-sex relations were criminalized.

Sources: Amnesty International (amnesty.org) Human Rights Watch (hrw.org) International Labour Organization (ilo.org) UN Women (unwomen.org)

Sofía Stiletano

"The beauty of writing is that it can silently create a ripple effect. This is why I choose this medium to contribute to defend individual rights; by raising my voice to create awareness about the importance of representation and being kind and considered towards others and oneself. So that all of us can rise cooperatively and find a space in society that makes us happy, especially in this times of dehumanization and disconnection from the organic world."
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