In this picture taken on March 28, 2021, Farzana, who fled her village in Helmand province when it was taken over by the Taliban, waits to see a doctor at a mobile clinic for women and children set up at the residence of a local elder in Yarmuhamad village, near Lashkar Gah in Helmand province. - Since the drawdown of foreign forces began in Afghanistan -- now all but complete -- and a subsequent escalation of Taliban violence, there have been signs that already limited maternity care could be even further restricted, as thousands of women are displaced and roads become increasingly dangerous. - TO GO WITH 'Afghanistan-conflict-women-health', FOCUS by Elise Blanchard (Photo by Elise BLANCHARD / AFP) / TO GO WITH 'Afghanistan-conflict-women-health', FOCUS by Elise Blanchard (Photo by ELISE BLANCHARD/AFP via Getty Images)

The Taliban take over in Afghanistan left many countries worldwide shocked and worried about the next chapter for the country. At this time, it is still unclear what the Taliban envision for the country and its citizens but If their previous occupation is anything to go by; people are right to be terrified. Although Taliban leaders have stated numerous times that it is a new day and that they will forgive the citizens that fought against them, many citizens are sceptical of this new government and its promises. Amongst the sceptics are women. Older generations remembered the Taliban’s severe restrictions on women and girls before the 2001 attack on America. While the next steps for the Taliban might be unknown to the masses, one thing that is for sure women’s rights will shift in the country and not be for the better.

From No Rights to Rights…

Taliban shooters control in 2001

It is not the first time the Taliban has taken over Afghanistan. From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban ruled all of Afghanistan. While the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam affected everyone, women and girls faced the most scrutiny during those times. Under the Taliban regime, women could not leave their homes without a male escort, were required to wear a burqa, could not visit health centres, attend schools, or work. Moreover, the Taliban executed severe punishments for violators such as public executions, chopped hands for thieves, and stoned women to death for adultery accusations. After the U.S. invasion in 2001, the Taliban government toppled, and women’s participation in the public sphere rose. There was a steady increase in women in the legal, medical, and political fields after 2001. By 2017, there were over 150,000 women elected in local offices.

To No Rights… Again

Women and children being home after Taliban takeover.

As much as the Taliban would like to portray things are different and their regime will be better for everyone, not much proves true for women. In a matter of days, the Taliban has forced the closure of beauty shops, forced women to leave work, and girls to go home from school. It is an all too familiar sight for women who remembered how life was thirty to twenty years ago. Their worse fear is coming to light as the life that they grew to love is being snatched away in a matter of hours.

Many girls only know of a life where they could get an education and be anything they want to be, and to see a dramatic shift in such a short time is painful to watch. Their lives are uncertain. After all, they have no idea of the individual rights that will be restricted because they were born female. Their hopes and dreams are in upheaval because of an uprising government that considers them second-rate citizens. The main problem with the takeover is not certain groups taking back their country from foreign influence. The problem lies in their extreme conservatism that isolates a core group of people who love their country and want a say in a government that affects them. Women are just as important and have a voice. Unfortunately, with the turn of the past events, the Taliban will silence their voice once again.

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CheVaughn Starling is a politics contributor on scribe. Hailing all the way from the United States. Born in the Chicagoland area, Illinois (USA), and moved to Springfield, IL in 2011 to embark her new journey in life: college. She completed her undergrad and graduate degree at the University of Illinois Springfield in Political Science and Legal Studies with an emphasis on Public Policy. Her love for politics and history led her to aspire a career as a political analyst. Her specialty is in US politics and analyzing different policies from both sides of view. She hopes one day to complete her JD and PHD so she can help implement policy and change in the US.

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