Afghanistan’s people and economy have been shocked again by the Taliban’s quick and complete victory over the now-defunct Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, which shocked them even more than they already were. Insecurity, corruption, government over-centralization, mismanagement, dwindling revenues, and drought are already significant problems for the Afghan economy. Now that the Taliban has taken over and the international community is cutting back on aid and assistance, the Afghan economy will face even more problems. As soon as a new Afghan government is in place, Afghanistan’s economic and humanitarian problems could get worse or better, depending on what the Taliban and the rest of the world do when they take over.
The inside story here:
People who work at San Jose State University’s Human Rights Institute say that Afghanistan’s women and girls face the loss of their rights and dreams and threats to their basic survival. People in Afghanistan are becoming more and more desperate because of both Taliban cases of abuse and the efforts of other people from other countries to help them.
Human Rights Watch and San Jose State University interviewed ten women who live or have lived in Ghazni province, including women who worked in education, health care, social services, and business, as well as former students.
They said that prices for food, transportation, and schoolbooks had gone up and a quick and often total loss of income. Many of these women were the only or primary breadwinners in their families until they lost their jobs because of Taliban rules that didn’t allow women to work. It was because of the economic crisis that just a few people who worked in primary education and health care were still able to get paid.
The Taliban have banned women and girls from secondary and higher education, and they have changed the curriculum to focus more on religious topics. They say how women should dress, travel, how they should be separated at work by sex, and even what kind of cell phones women should have. This is what they say. People in charge use threats and physical inspections to make sure people follow the rules.
This is what one woman who used to work in the administration said. “I had a lot of dreams, and I wanted to keep studying and working.” I was thinking about getting my master’s. Girls can’t even finish high school at the moment because the Taliban don’t let them.
The women said they felt terrified because the Taliban had taken over the police force and the Women’s Affairs Ministry. They are extorting money and food from people in their communities. They also target women they see as enemies, like those who worked for foreign organizations and the previous Afghan government. Fear, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and a deep sense of helplessness are some of the symptoms people say they have had since the Taliban took over.
As a Human Rights Watch employee, Heather Barr said that “the situation for women and girls in Afghanistan is getting worse, and there is no sign of it stopping any time soon.” In Afghanistan, this country has lost one of its most important resources, its female half’s skills and talents. Taliban policies have made many women “virtual captives in their own homes in just a few years.”
If you want to learn more about what we found, you can read about it in the following sections.
Ghazni province is in the southern part of Afghanistan. It has about 1.3 million people, primarily Pashtun and Hazara people. This is where Ghazni is. It is on the Kabul-Kandahar highway and has been bombed many times over the last two decades of war.
Human Rights Watch and San Jose State University used encrypted communication to talk to Ghazni provincial women still living in Afghanistan. A few were in other parts of Afghanistan. Most of the people in Ghazni province lived in the city of Ghazni. Some lived in other parts of the province, but not all of them. Employees and students of educational, medical, government and non-government institutions participated in the study. They were done as long as the person being interviewed agreed to be interviewed in Dari. Seven Hazara, one Pashtun, and two people from another ethnic group were among the interviewed people.
The value of the Afghan currency, the afghani, has changed a lot since the Taliban took over. When we did our research, the exchange rate was about 120 afghanis to 1 US dollar. We used this rate when we did our conversions.