The Taliban has been punishing women with arrests and physical violence citing claims of what the group calls “bad hijab.” Abdul Ghafar Farooq, the spokesman for the Taliban, has stated that women “violated the Islamic values and rituals, and encouraged society and other respected sisters to go for bad hijab. In every province, those who go without hijab will be arrested.”
In response to the arrests of Afghan women for “bad hijab,” members of Together Stronger have released a statement condemning the Taliban for these arrests. Together Stronger is a coalition of advocates with women from inside and outside of Afghanistan.
The coalition states that with the recent “illegal arrests” of women and girls, the Taliban intend “to completely erase women from society, an act that confirms gender apartheid in Afghanistan.” These arrests are a continuation to the unjust edicts, moving forward the Taliban’s plans to create a fully patriarchal society.
Within the roughly 2.5 years the Taliban has been in power, there have been more than 100 edicts announced that restrict women. Women have been essentially excluded from the public sphere in Afghanistan. They cannot go to school, women working in public offices cannot return to their jobs. They cannot even visit healthcare facilities without a mahram (male escort). Women and girls not only lack the freedom of mobility and freedom of autonomy with the increasing number of edicts being issued, they are facing tremendous security issues as well.
Women in Afghanistan through Together Stronger are telling the world that women are being arrested, abducted, beaten, and forced into unknown locations at the hands of Taliban members. Their rights and dignity are being violated with new rules being imposed upon them on a regular basis.
In the face of escalating violence, arrests, abductions, and daily harassment, Afghan women and girls are urging their allies to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with them and hold the Taliban accountable for inflicting harm and violating their basic human rights.