Afghan women fear the worst

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IslamNews – Over the past 20 years, despite uneven progress, Afghan women have joined the military and the police force, held political office, become pop stars, competed on Olympic and robotics teams, and more.

Now, as U.S. and NATO forces prepare to leave, women in Afghanistan fear a new era of Taliban rule. The paramilitary group, poised to seize more territory, will very likely close schools for girls, limit women’s career options and usher in a surge of gender-based violence.

Quotable: “All the time, women are the victims of men’s wars,” said Raihana Azad, a member of Afghanistan’s Parliament. “But they will be the victims of their peace, too.”

U.S. context: American officials and lawmakers frequently pointed to such gains of Afghan women and girls as proof of success over the past two decades. But when Pentagon officials pressed President Biden to maintain at least a modest troop presence, as they have for his predecessors, he refused.

Analysis: In 2001, the U.S. refused the Taliban’s surrender, instead opting for total eradication and a highly centralized government, displacing a patchwork but stable state and turning each village and valley into a power struggle.

Source: The New York Times