Under the Taliban’s “Apartheid”: Before I Was a Police Woman, Now I Beg on the Streets all

KABUL, KOMPAS.com – One year ago, the Taliban took over Afghanistan amid the chaos of the withdrawal of US and British troops.

Now the lives of women across the country are changing drastically, with their rights and freedoms stripped away.

Taliban orders deny girls education, fire women from their jobs and force them into confinement under “gender apartheid”.

To Rukhshana Media, women across the state also told their life experiences after one year of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan.

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Expropriated alimony

Until the Taliban took power, Maryam worked as a police officer. Her husband had died, so she was the main breadwinner to support her two daughters.

“Before, I was able to meet their needs. Now I lost my job. The Taliban are hunting for women who work in the security services. I’m still afraid they’ll find me,” he said Guardian on Sunday (14/8/2022).

For the last seven months, she had to beg on the streets to feed her daughter. She sat all day on the street, covered with a burqa so that no one recognized her.

One day, two boys threw some coins at him. One of them said she was a prostitute.

“I came home with only enough money to buy two loaves of bread for my children, and cried all night.” “I no longer know who I am.”

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Like Maryam, Khatera, an artist from Herat, has also been deprived of her livelihood.

Previously, he invested more than half of his life as a maker of traditional wood carvings and designs. As the only female engraver in her area, she has created more than 1,000 works of art.

But since the Taliban came to power, they have made art a dangerous occupation, and being a female artist is even more dangerous.

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“The Taliban say I can continue my carving, but I know it’s impossible. I censor myself because I don’t feel safe.”

He had auctioned off most of his equipment. His customer from Iran instead told him to move to Iran, where his work would be rewarded.

“But I told them: I will stay in Afghanistan, one day everything might change.”

AP PHOTO/EBRAHIM NOROOZI A Taliban fighter stands guard in the Shia neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, August 7, 2022.

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Missing colorful clothes

Samana from Kabul can no longer look at the colorful clothes in her closet, let alone wear them. “It reminds me of everything I’ve been missing.”

He fell into a deep depression, after a dramatic incident when he was walking home alone.

In a deserted alley, two armed Taliban members approached him. “They shouted at me whore because I was ‘exposed’, and demanded answers as to why I wasn’t wearing the hijab.”

The Taliban members pointed their guns at Samana’s face, one of them pointed his finger at the trigger. The woman was only able to lower her head and say: “That won’t happen again.”

When she got home, the woman from Kabul sat down and cried for an hour. “I said to myself: this is a warning for what is coming next.”

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Zahra had a similar experience in western Kabul. After a Taliban order announced the announcement of mandatory cover-up for women, she was arrested.

“Although I had no intention of following their orders, I apologized (at the time) and thought they would let me go.”

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But it turns out the punishment is more than that. The Taliban came to his house, warning his family that if Afghan women is found “uncovered” in public, then he will be detained.

“Since then, my father rarely let me or my sister leave the house, and said we couldn’t go to college. Even my brothers and sisters now know what I’m wearing and where I’m going all the time.”

Taliban fighters stand guard in the Shia neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, August 7, 2022. AP PHOTO/EBRAHIM NOROOZI Taliban fighters stand guard in the Shia neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, August 7, 2022.

Narrow access to education

The Taliban government still prohibits Afghan girls from returning to school. Meanwhile, those who have reached university have limited access, with special classes for women with female teachers and male classes with male teachers.

Sabira in Bamiyan province is still lucky to be able to re-enter the University. She was not forced to wear a black hijab on campus, but even within the educational environment, women were always monitored.

“There are hijab notices on the doors and walls. I never imagined that one day in Bamyan, all students would be forced to live like this. I can’t believe life is changing here.”

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His condition is still luckier than Mah Liqa, whose location must be kept secret for his safety. Afghan women The 14-year-old admitted that he was depressed because he was not allowed to go to school at all.

“But I kept telling myself that I had to keep going for a better future and for my dreams,” he said as reported by the Guardian.

Liqa is still trying to find a way to continue studying, despite the ban on girls going to school. Now, she studies English at home every day so that she can apply for a scholarship to study computer science abroad one day.

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“I’m still trying to achieve something for myself.”

Demonstrators carry banners reading 'August 15 is a black day' as they demand the right to work and political participation, Saturday (13/8/2022).Deputy Kohsar/AFP Demonstrators carry banners reading ‘August 15 is a black day’ as they demand the right to work and political participation, Saturday (13/8/2022).

Constant fear in the midst of slaughter

Since the Taliban took over, security has deteriorated in Afghanistan with the threat from ISIS militants increasing.

Abassi from western Kabul recounted how his trip to work turned into a bloody incident after a bomb exploded on the bus he was traveling in.

“My friend and I were chatting on the bus when the world around us exploded. We found ourselves in the middle of a massacre,” he said, adding he had injuries to his legs and chest while his friend had injuries to his right leg.

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“After the Taliban took over, things became difficult, but I continued my work and was determined to live bravely. Now, after the attack, I live in constant fear. The pain from my wound is excruciating.”

Abassi has had five surgeries and cannot go to the bathroom or dress himself without help. But the psychological scars are deep too.

“I had to pass through the bomb blast site to get to my doctor’s appointment, and every time I felt the vehicle vibrate, the heat of the explosion and the sound of people screaming. It kept repeating and repeating before my eyes while I was trying to sleep.”

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