Predicament of Afghan Women: Remembering the Past; Looking to the Future
As reported by Physicians for Human Rights in 1998, the Taliban, whose name means “Students of Muslim religious studies,” surfaced as a political and military force in 1994. Led by Mullah Mohammed Omar, their claim was that they were reinstating peace and security through the enforcement of a strict Islamic order. The Taliban put women under extreme suppression by brutally punishing them for infractions, enforcing house arrest, refusing to allow them medical care, and forbidding them from attending school. Restrictions, as stated by Wikipedia, included:
“women should not appear in the streets without a mahram (male relative) or without a burqa (head to toe cloth covering with mesh over the face), women shouldn’t wear high heeled shoes so as not to excite men with their footsteps, women must not speak loudly in public as no stranger should hear their voices, all windows must be painted over or boarded up so women cannot be seen from the street, all place names that contain the word ‘women’ must be modified, women’s presence on radio, television or public gatherings must be banned, and photographing or filming of women and displaying pictures of women in newspapers, books, shops, or homes was banned” (“Taliban treatment of women”).
Punishments for disobeying the law were wicked. In October of