Food, Work, Freedom1)
In August last year, the Taliban, which took control of Afghanistan, promised to guarantee women's rights. Hibatullah Akhunzada, the leader of the Taliban, announced a six-point decree of women's rights stating "women and men should be equal," and "women are not possessions" in December. According to the special decree, women cannot be forced to marry through coercion. It clarified that women have the right to choose whether to remarry or not after the death of their husbands. Since December, the Taliban has promised many changes, but most have been not kept, and are proposing policies that suppress women. Women's rights to be educated and work are being utterly violated. In many schools, the education of girls is not carried out properly because boys and girls are not allowed to take classes together, and girls have to be educated by female teachers. Also, employment for women is restricted, according to Reporters Without Borders, there were only 410 female journalists left in December down from 2490 in August, resulting in 84% becoming unemployed. Recently, measures that prevent long-distance travel of more than 72 kilometers without accompanying close male relatives have been introduced. This regulation prevents women from moving freely to other cities. As such, the Taliban is infringing on women's rights.
Afghan women have raised their voices in various ways to resist the Taliban. After the announcement of the movement restriction, women have come out onto the streets of Kabul, shouting phrases such as "Women's human rights," "Freedom, Education, and Employment rights." In response to the protests, the Taliban acted violently, pointing their guns at the protestors and spraying them with tear gas. To cope with the adherence to tyrannical control, Afghan women are graffitiing walls at night in secret. 'Stop Violence Against Women,' and 'Food, Work, Freedom,' are painted on walls. In addition, to protest against the black burka forced by the Taliban, Afghan women are posting photos of themselves on SNS wearing colorful Afghan traditional costumes under the #DoNotTouchMyClothes hashtag, signaling the situation of them to the world. Due to their repressive policies, the Taliban government is not officially recognized by the United Nations. Many Afghan residents are suffering from serious economic difficulties, but they are not receiving help from the international community. Therefore, the international community is considering humanitarian support measures that do not go through the hands of the Taliban. The United States has announced 380 million dollars (453.1 billion won) in aid to an independent humanitarian organization. As the international community's freeze on support for the Taliban continues, the Taliban said they plan to allow all girls to go to school in March. However, it is uncertain whether the Taliban's remarks will become a reality.
1) Woo Sookyung, "[Correspondent's Report] Afghan Women Who Carry Spray Every Night... Will It Bring Change?", KBS NEWS, January 12, 2022