- Obama admin to blame for HealthCare.gov woes, $840M cost: GAO
- Al Gore’s climate-changers at EPA hearings foiled by cool temperatures
- Army’s 3-D printed bombs will create ‘a whole new universe’ of deadly capabilities
- Hamas calls on Hezbollah to join in fight against Israel
- Senators to FIFA, others: Don’t reward Putin with the World Cup in 2018
- U.S. condemns Israeli shelling of shelter in Gaza
- Obamacare shoots premiums up by 88 percent in California
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Obama to Republicans: ‘Stop just hatin’ all the time’
- U.S. chemical sites vulnerable despite millions spent on security: Congress
Taliban talks terrify Afghan women
New rights in fragile state
Question of the Day
A real war on women is brewing in Afghanistan.
Women there are worried that the freedoms they have won since U.S. forces toppled the brutal Taliban regime 10 years ago will be squandered if the Islamic hard-liners return to power through a U.S.-led peace process.
U.S. and Afghan officials and the Taliban have been engaged for several months in an effort to initiate peace talks that could lead to the militants playing a role in government.
Afghan women bore the brunt of the Taliban’s strict enforcement of Islamic law until U.S. forces overthrew the regime for sheltering al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
The Taliban regrouped as a militant force and claimed credit this week for coordinated suicide bombings in Kabul and other cities.
Under the Taliban regime, girls were banned from going to school and women’s educational institutions were closed. Many women were forced to quit their jobs and required to wear burqas.
Taliban fighters perpetrated egregious acts of violence against women, including rape, abduction and forced marriage, according to a 2001 report by the State Department.
Unmarried women who were caught with unrelated men were whipped in stadiums full of people. Married women in similar circumstances were stoned to death.
Now schools across Afghanistan brim with girls. Access to health care has reduced the female mortality rate. Women play a role in politics and public life, and the Afghan Constitution criminalizes violence against women.
The Taliban still routinely threaten women who have taken on public roles in society. In some instances, female politicians and social workers have been killed.
In an attack Tuesday that officials blamed on extremists opposed to female education, about 140 Afghan girls and teachers were poisoned by contaminated drinking water at a high school in the northern Takhar province. Some remained in critical condition at a hospital, while others were treated and released.
“We all are afraid of the Taliban coming back in any shape, whether in power in government or as an independent political party,” said Nilofar Sakhi, chairwoman of Women’s Activities and Social Services Association, based in Afghanistan’s western city of Herat.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
- Geraldo Rivera: Matt Drudge 'doing his best to stir up a civil war'
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- Lois Lerner hated conservatives, new emails show
- HURT: Impeaching Obama is a losing strategy for the GOP
- MSNBC's Ronan Farrow questions lack of racial diversity in emoji characters
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world