Afghan women continues to fight

 Afghan women continues to fight 

Afghan women continues to fight

Afghan women tell Al Jazeera that they sweat a return of repressive life under Taliban rule.

Kabul, Afghanistan – Marzia Hamidi, nineteen-year-old Afghan taekwondo, had big plans.

She used to dream of national and international championships but fears that those dreams are now dashed forever after the Taliban took control of the country in August. By the end of September, she had to go into caching after she heard that some members of the group had come looking for her.

“ When the Taliban came to power, I was allowing about destroying my orders,” she told Al Jazeera. “ Burn them or keep them? I asked myself.”

Indeed Marzia’s Instagram account with further than followers is a little bit darker now. She wears a black abaya and matching hijab, stewing Afghanistan’s new autocrats.

She is not alone in her fears. Numerous women sweat a return to enforced invisibility they lived under for five times (1996-2001) when the Taliban controlled Afghanistan last.

When the Taliban came to power, it promised to admire women and allow them to share in public life “following Islamic law”, but secondary academies remain closed for girls, and numerous women are chancing to return to work delicately, except for some professions similar as in the health sector.

Protests erupted across several cities last month, with women demanding their rights, but they were harshly suppressed.

During the first Taliban regime, women virtually faded from the public eye as they were banned from working and were not allowed to travel without a male guardian. The violation of strict rules on women’s clothing and their behaviour publicly attracted severe punishment.

Marzia worries that women like her will soon meet an analogous fate.

‘ Burn them or keep them?’

Marzia was born in Iran to a family of Afghan refugees who was frequently discerned against and subordinated to racist attacks.

At fifteen she went to a taekwondo class and incontinently fell in love with the sport, going on to compete and earning several gold medals in the Under fifty-seven kg category national competitions.

But three years ago, Marzia’s family decided to move to Afghanistan, her father no longer wanted to be an exile in a foreign land. They would join her brother, who had a profitable business in Kabul.

For the self-confident athlete, this spelt a huge dislocation of her career. Kabul would convince be a difficult place to practice her sport in.

“ It is always been hard for female fighters in Afghanistan. My male coach always stared at me, concentrated on my looks, which made me uncomfortable. Other girls within the taekwondo team always wore headscarves and complained that I did not,” Marzia says.

When the Taliban came to power, numerous Afghans tried to destroy or hide items they feared would incriminate them with the new autocrats. Marzia’s orders were her “ indicting particulars” and she pondered long and whether to destroy them. “ But my brother talked me out of the idea and told me to hide them in a safe place.”

But she soon realised that the medals weren’t the sole thing she had to cover.

Last month, a gaggle of unknown men came to her family home posing for her whereabouts, likely due to her social media activity, she says. They also visited her brother’s office.

Marzia decided to go into hiding. She now constantly changes locations and lives in constant fear.

“ I want to leave Afghanistan to renew my training because I want to prepare for the 2024 Olympic Games. But I do not want to go back to Iran. The situation of deportees is delicate there, there is a lot of racism. Indeed if I am the best, they won’t let me attend the Olympics,” Marzia says.

“ Everything has changed since the coming to power of the Taliban.”

‘ Peace at the expenditure of barring women’

Meena Naeemi could have left Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul because she works for foreign organisations, but she decided to stay. Now, in the final semester of her master’s in Pashto literature, she is staying to finish her degree before looking for opportunities abroad.

But completing her studies under the Taliban may prove insolvable. Classes at her university haven’t resumed for women and no one knows once they will.

“ I did not expect to face such a fate. It is still very hard on my behalf to believe that my country is in such a state. I have no hopes for completing my education and getting employment because they are doing not want us to participate in society. They introduced peace at the expense of barring women,” Meena says.

“ I am fearful that from now on, the girls will be stuck at home, while boys continue their education. I look in the mirror and realise that each one of my plans is a foreign dream. I desire I am slowly dying.”

Homeira Qaderi, a women’s rights activist from Herat, believes in civil resistance against the Taliban. But she also knows that most women will be too fearful to stand up for their rights.

“ When the Taliban took over Kabul, I went to the media to talk to them. They should see women who won’t remain silent. I believe in the power of speech. But with each passing day, we see the Taliban abusing women on the streets again,” the forty-one-year-old says.

“ The streets of Afghanistan are no longer a safe place for women. The resistance is a path to light. But what if women’s resistance to the Taliban are going to be met with whips and guns?”

Qaderi remembers the Taliban’s previous rule during the year the 1990s when women had no choice but to get wedded and raise children.

“ Violence against women is methodical in the behaviour of the Taliban government. However, they will lose their identity,” she says, If the Taliban do not use violence against women.

“ But the amount of slavery is over and any plan to enslave us will sooner or later fail. I hope the planet doesn’t turn its back on Afghan women again.”


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