By Vugar Khalilov
Following the end of the US invasion of Afghanistan that started 20 years ago, the Taliban declared the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The streets are back to normal and schools opened.
Afghan women have always been ignored while discussing the economic situation, lifestyle and state administration of the Afghan people. Yeni Shafak talked to Afghan women, who are the most tired of 42 years of chaos in the country.
In spite of their different professions and lifestyles, there are common issues that unite women. The women's rights rhetoric used by the West against the Taliban did more harm than good to Afghan women.
While the world is following the Taliban’s decisions on women, Afghan men, who confuse tradition and religion, are not comfortable with women being active in social life.
Suffering from the ever-changing order and being a refugee, women want an ordinary, normal and comfortable life.
Adiba Wahidi, 48, a girls' school teacher who has witnessed every moment of Afghanistan since her childhood, said: “The first revolution took place on April 27, 1978. In my geography, someone is constantly fighting for ruling [the country]. In 1982, the Russians began the invasion, allegedly to help us. Everyone was against them. Despite the confusion, we continued our education. There was no security. On the way to school, a rocket could fall on the street.”
Underlining the Taliban's activities 20 years ago, during their rule women without burqas and bare feet were subjected to physical violence and had to wear gloves, she said.
After America’s arrival in Afghanistan, people gained some freedoms with regard to music and clothing, but there was no money and bribery thrived, she added.
“We have kept on living by keeping up with the changes, we have learned to give ourselves freedom. We have hope, women make up half of the society, everyone should know this. If women are given rights and law within the framework of Islam, we will be a complete nation,” Wahidi stressed.
School principal Sultan Ahyar, 52, said that everything was great in Afghanistan up until she was young. After the revolution, the situation worsened and there has been a war for 40 years since then and women are major victims of this situation, she underlined.
Commenting on the Taliban regime, she noted that they were very oppressive and forced women to wear a burqa.
“I could not teach. It seems short while describing it, but it is a very long process. When the Americans came, we had hope again. Freedom came but nothing else improved. Now we don't know what will happen. I want a fearless Afghanistan where there is no casual conflict,” Ahyar stressed.
Painter Forozan Sultani,22, whose works have been exhibited abroad, said that women had the opportunity to go to school with America’s invasion of Afghanistan.
“I went to the Faculty of Fine Arts under Islamic conditions. I have my own workshop. I organized art exhibitions. I wanted to specialize in painting. Now the Taliban has arrived. What will happen is very uncertain. Even though we were free under the old administration, there was theft and insecurity. Now the men were very happy with the arrival of the Taliban. Afghan men want to keep us at home. Even though the Taliban didn't say anything, they don't want us even to go to restaurants. The wife of the Prophet was doing business. I think the Taliban will resolve this situation as soon as possible,” she said.
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