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What the Taliban's return means for women in Afghanistan and what countries should do about it Updated: 2021-08-27 17:17:07 KST

"Within the framework of Islam".
That's what the Taliban claimed, promising women's rights would be protected in Afghanistan.
But since their return, women haven't been seen on the streets.

And experts say it's because the Taliban continues to follow medieval interpretations of the Quran and Islam's legal system, Sharia law.

"This will mean that the Taliban will simply go back to the most rigid possible set of social roles involving separation of sexes."

During their first rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban stripped women of their freedom to get jobs, go to school, and leave the house without being accompanied by a male.
Some Afghan activists in hiding told Arirang that they are afraid that they are going back to what they call the "dark ages".
One asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons.

"They killed a woman because she was wearing jeans. They just hit the women on the streets because of not having any men with themselves. They said women should stay at home.

Another Afghan activist, said a darker future is about to unfold for women, because their only insurance, U.S. forces and international allies, are gone.
With most troops to leave the country within a few days, he asked for help from the international community.

"We want the international community to pressure the Taliban to not violate human rights nor the freedom of expression."

In response to their cry for help, experts around the world pitched different suggestions.
One born in Afghanistan and having participated in many development projects, said the Taliban cannot rule in the same way as they did in the 1990s because the world has changed since then.

"They need to be given the opportunity to see others. Maybe their mentality may change. They may get a bit progressive."

One South Korean expert said countries should give out aid but under one critical condition.

"If you guarantee women's rights, if you guarantee women's education then we will give you this aid or humanitarian development."

Afghan women do not want to relapse to an era of oppression.
They are asking the world for help.

"Friends like South Korea and the U.S. and other allies of Afghanistan, do not leave us alone. Because we worked with them, we supported them, and we wanted to be an active part of international community."
Shin Ye-eun, Arirang News.
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