Ahead of the Intra-Afghan talks, expected in days, a coalition of Afghan women’s rights groups have released an open letter to Taliban leadership calling for a peaceful resolution to the four decades of war, reaffirming their position to preserve and build on the gains of the last 20 years, and calling for a meeting with senior members of the group.
“With the pandemic and the world shifting their attention from Afghanistan, I worry that once again, Afghan women will fall into dark times. We must do what we can to prevent that from happening.”
Afghan women have repeatedly asked for a ceasefire especially during the month of Ramadan and once again ask global leaders to “come together and do everything in your power to push for an immediate ceasefire in Afghanistan.”
“The Taliban atrocities against Afghan women have simply not stopped. It gets worse and worse as it can be seen by the attacks of maternity hospital in Kabul today. The U.S. must not desert Afghan women. The so-called peace deal between the US and the Taliban simply did not work.”
Twenty-five-year-old Marzia Akbar is part of a small group of female psychologists. Her team runs a covert counseling clinic at a local hospital in the Herat province and have helped many victims of domestic abuse. But Herat’s stay-at-home order has caused Akbari’s team to lose contact with most of their clients.
The Taliban and the U.S. agreed on a “reduction of violence,” for seven days. The reduction in violence for the seven day period was to reduce violence by 80 percent. The Taliban has instead ramped up their attacks on the Afghan civilians and the Afghan government.
“People say the U.S. Congress is dysfunctional,” Eleanor Smeal, Feminist Majority Foundation president and publisher of Ms., points out, “but not for a moment would we think of turning over the country to terrorists—and neither would the Afghans.”
In spite of the Taliban, Afghanistan is a picture of progress—though not perfection.
In January 2018, a BBC article declared that the Taliban had full control of 4 percent of Afghanistan’s territory and an active presence in another 66 percent of the country. Researchers at Feminist Majority Foundation, dubious of the BBC map and other similar public accounts based on territorial analysis, decided to do a study using population data.
As the Trump administration tries to negotiate peace with the men of the Taliban, Afghanistan’s women are drawing their red line.