States that claim to be developed, civilized and democratic, the United States in particular, have left to the Taliban the administration of Afghanistan, which they have occupied for decades on a variety of pretexts. We find the abandonment of Afghanistan to the Taliban, which is the nightmare of the Afghan people, and especially Afghan women and girls, as ruthless as the Taliban’s own methods.
We know what it means for the Taliban to be back in power, especially for women and girls. The Taliban, which the U.S. tacitly supported in the 1990s, instituted sharia law and imprisoned women and girls in burqas, prevented them from getting an education or participating in politics, restricted their access to healthcare, and punished them for speaking and laughing in public. Afghanistan became a country where women and girls had their fingers cut off for applying nail polish, were stoned and hung for violating sharia law, and burned with acid for wanting to go to school.
There was some, albeit limited, change following the removal of the Taliban from power in 2001, such as the lifting of the mandatory burqa law, girls gaining the right to education, constitutional change regarding the equality of women and men, the law to prevent violence against women, and the lifting of the ban on women working. Afghan women have been struggling not only against a male-dominated system and inequality, but also against religious fundamentalism and foreign occupation. We condemn the religious fundamentalist male States founded on oppression, exploitation and torture that physically, socially, economically and psychologically destroy an entire sex/gender, and criminalize the simplest acts of life. We condemn also those who support these States for their own interests, abandon and turn their back on the people, and sit and watch from afar.
The Taliban is trying to gain sympathy by showing that it is not like the Taliban of the past, and that it will allow women to go out into the public by themselves in burqas. We do not accept the subjection of women, anywhere on earth, to a rule that makes them hide their voices or diplomas, buy over-priced burqas in a worried state of panic, get fired from their jobs overnight, be removed from school, work life, streets and politics, be “given” to men if above the age of 15, single or widowed, or sit and wait to be killed.
- An urgent global plan of action should be formulated and a humanitarian aid corridor should be established.
- All countries, especially those that bear the biggest responsibility for what is happening in Afghanistan today, must shoulder the burden of migration equally and fairly, and the resources allocated to weapons and war should be allocated to peoples who have been forcibly displaced.
- Everyone should mobilize their own government to ensure all human rights, especially the right to life and security of women and children are met. All should act to pressure their countries take an urgent and clear stance.
- Non-governmental organizations, activists, artists, academics, and everyone who respects human rights worldwide should struggle for the safety of Afghan women, children and other groups facing discrimination, and stand against the recognition of the Taliban regime by their governments.
- We call on international organizations, states, and the democratic public who advocate gender equality all over the world to stand against the recognition of the Taliban government as a whole and to support the Afghan people who struggle for its non-recognition.
The Taliban is not an administration to be “recognised” and to be in contact with in “unity of faith”; it is a religious fundamentalist criminal organization that is hostile to women and human rights! We want to see an approach that implements a holistic immigration policy taking into account not the Taliban, but the Afghan civilians who are oppressed under the Taliban – a policy that protects Afghan people’s fundamental right to life, and does not see them as bargaining chips.
What messages does he mean when he declares, “We would like to say that we welcome the messages given by the Taliban”?
The struggle we wage together with Afghan women is part of our struggle against those who withdrew from the Istanbul Convention, who meddle in others’ skirt length, and the misogynists who reject gender equality. We look at our common future in the mirror of the experiences of Afghan women. We call on all women and all forces of opposition to join in our common struggle.
17 August 2021
Women’s Platform for Equality, Turkey
EŞİK – Eşitlik İçin Kadın Platformu