The Taliban took control of Kabul on Sunday, less than three weeks after US troops began withdrawing in early July. Afghan president Ashraf Ghani had already fled the country.
Formed in 1994, the Taliban is an Islamist organisation which captured Kabul for the first time in 1996 and governed Afghanistan imposing strict Sharia law, until they were ousted in 2001.
At that time, Afghan women were forced to wear head-to-toe hijab, and they were not allowed to study, work or even travel alone. TV and music were also banned.
When in the last few weeks the provinces started to fall one after another, Afghan women began once again to face impositions from the Taliban, who have already forbidden them from going out of doors and have also begun to threaten them with marriage to Taliban fighters once they have fully taken control – which is just happening now.
On 6 August the Taliban took over the provincial capital of Nimroz in the south of the country. Sar Neval Nuriye Hotig is one of many women who took to the streets in Nimroz to protest against the Islamists.
“Life has been getting harder for all citizens, especially those who work as civil servants. Women who work, whether as civil servants or for the private sector, are not able to leave home just now, because the Taliban has not issued any statement regarding the status of the working women. But we believe that they will seek and hunt down women who work,” she told Jinha.
“The Taliban have announced the law of Jihadist marriage, which demands that all women aged between the ages of 15 and 45 be handed over to the Taliban fighters for purposes of marriage. The people, who have now lost everything they had, for many even including their homes, have a fear to surpass all that: they fear their daughters falling into the hands of the Taliban.”
Hotig stated that only a few female doctors and midwives have been allowed to continue work in hospitals since the Taliban entered Nimruz, but only two female health workers are allowed to work on any one day.
“Innocent civilians are being killed, people are being injured by bombs, women are not allowed to leave home and the numbers of all such cases increase every day.”
Hotig cannot even stay at her home any more as it is no longer safe.
“Our lives are in danger now. All women in Afghanistan are in danger. But it is also our duty to defend the women and the oppressed people of this country.”