Today, after a relatively peaceful period in Afghanistan, the Taliban detonated a car bomb during morning rush hour in Kabul. The car bomb is said to have rocked the entire city, killing at least 16 people and injuring 105 people, including 51 children and five women. The United Nations, NGOs working in Afghanistan, and the Afghan government have all denounced the Taliban for causing civilian casualties. This attack came just two days after the Taliban began a seventh round of “peace” talks with the U.S in Qatar.
Taliban insurgents also shot a 25-year old woman along with her three-year old son on the charge of cheating on her husband in a remote village in Faryab province, in the north of country. The husband filed a complaint to the Taliban, and members of the group snatched the woman from her parents’ house. The provincial branch of the Human Rights Commission reported that violence against women has increased by 20% over the last two years in this province due to combat between government forces and Taliban fighters in Faryab.
As “peace” talks continue, women’s groups have warned that a Taliban return to power could pose a large threat to women’s rights. Robina Hamdard of the Afghan Women’s Network believes that “we are now not the same women of 20 years ago. We know our rights and will fight not to lose them.” Wherever the Taliban controls to this day in Afghanistan, women and girls access to education and health services, for example, are either limited or completely taken away.
Media resources: Washington Post 3/13/19, Tolo News 6/26/19, BBC News 7/1/19, Afghanistan Times 7/1/19