formerly known as
Womens Liberation Front


Welcome to, formerly known as.Womens Liberation Front.  A website that hopes to draw and keeps your attention for  both the global 21th. century 3rd. feminist revolutution as well and a selection of special feminist artists and writers.

This online magazine will be published evey six weeks and started February 1st. 2019. Thank you for your time and interest.

Gino d'Artali
chief editor
and radical feminist











                                                                                                            CRYFREEDOM 2019/2020

Part 3 Sept 30 untill August 5 2021

Part 2 August 27 untill Sept 15 2021: the resistence is becoming bigger and spreading more in Afghanistan.

Also visit Afghanistan's Women Resistence Part 1
July 7 untill August 18 2021

<Armed Afghan women take to streets in show of defiance against Taliban.>>
Rukhshana Media -
 The Guardian
assembled by Gino d'Artali


Dear visitor,

for your convenience please read me first

Gino d'Artali
Indepth investigative journalist
1 August - 17 August 2021

Starting around the 1th. of August 2021 it seemed as if the world stood still with the taliban sweeping over Afghanistan and taking power again from the untill then ex-president Ashraf Ghani (who fled the country) and simultanously also, 15 August 2021, took in Kabul and to finalize their job drove out the US and UK forces and affiliates.
The international press had almost difficulties to keep up with the chances., an online international magazine centered around the international women's day and the atrocities against women, and relying a lot, but not only, on international newspapers and broadcasters all of a sudden got a blanc concerning the cryfreedom's topics.
But you and I know that I'm a radical feminist so I refused to give up my work and moreso to started a new special titled 'Afghani women resisting' and to write opinion articles about it and about the international women's day and the atrocities against women in general because indeed it's only a matter of time before I'll need and report about it when it happens, which it does already, to Afghani women.
Lucky me and being investigative I now have 2 sources that will help me a lot to continue to inform you. They are:
- the Afghani journalist Zahra. S. Rahimi. and
- Rukhshana Media Afghanistan:
Rukhshana Media was created in November 2020 by Zahra Joya to focus on stories by and about Afghan women. The name 'Rukhshana refers to a teenager from Ghor Province called Rukhshana who was accused of adultery and stoned to death in 2015. A video of the lapidation circulated widely, gaining widespread international attention. Rukhshana's killing was one of several cases of honour killings of women fleeing forced marriages or of women rape victims in Ghor Province in the mid 2010s.
Themes published by Rukhshana Media include 'women's reproductive health, domestic and sexual violence, and gender discrimination. During the 2021 Taliban offensive, Rukhshana Media reported on expectations that the Taliban would violate women's rights and that divorced women remaining single expected to be at risk from the Taliban. In July 2021, Rukhshana Media together with Time and The Fuller Project reported on school being forbidden to 'thousands' of girls in Taliban-occupied areas of Afghanistan, with teachers at girls' schools receiving death threats and being refused authorisation to teach. According to the report, only girls up to the age of 12 were allowed to attend school, they were required to wear niqabs or burqas, and the number of hours teaching the Quran was increased.
Shukrah to both.

Gino d'Artali
Indepth investigative journalist.
31 August 2021


Now that the taliban took control over Afghanistan the Western countries foresees already tens of thousands Afghanis trying to flee to the West and seek refugee. I worked at a refugee camp in the Netherlands during the mid-nineties and what was called the new wave of refugees and the West could hardly cope with it.
But the ones who could hardly cope were the single women aan hun lot overgelaten door hun man and now, with her children, in the hands of human traffickers who promised them safe journeys when payed enough cash speaks for itself.


The Guardian
1 Sept 2021
Kim Willsher in Paris

<<Afghanistan: fewer than 100 out of 700 female journalists still working.
Women forced out of jobs despite Taliban promises to allow them to keep working, survey finds.

Female journalists in Afghanistan are being forced out of jobs and told to stay at home despite Taliban promises to allow them to keep working and to respect press freedom, according to a report.
Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF) says it believes fewer than 100 of Kabul’s 700 female journalists are still working and only a handful are continuing to work from home in two other Afghan provinces. Others have been attacked and harassed.
By shutting down female voices in the media, the Taliban are in the process of silencing all the country’s women, it says.
Since the Taliban took over the country on 15 August, a survey by RSF and its partner organisation, the Centre for the Protection of Afghan Women Journalists (CPAWJ), found most female staff in media organisations, including journalists, have stopped working.
Kabul’s 108 media organisations employed 4,940 staff in 2020 including 1,080 females, 700 of them journalists. RSF reported that of the 510 women who used to work for eight of the biggest private companies, only 76 – including 39 journalists – are still at work. The situation is similar in the provinces, where almost all privately owned media outlets stopped operating as the Taliban advanced.

<A handful of these women journalists are still more or less managing to work from home, but there is no comparison with 2020 when a survey by RSF and the CPAWJ established that more than 1,700 women were working for media outlets in three provinces (Kabul, Herat and Balkh) in the east, west and north of the country,> it reported.
<Taliban respect for the fundamental right of women, including women journalists, to work and to practise their profession is a key issue,> the RSF secretary general, Christophe Deloire, said.
<Women journalists must be able to resume working without being harassed as soon as possible, because it is their most basic right, because it is essential for their livelihood, and also because their absence from the media landscape would have the effect of silencing all Afghan women. We urge the Taliban leadership to provide immediate guarantees for the freedom and safety of women journalists.>
Days after entering the Afghan capital, Taliban forces recently barred Khadija Amin and Shabnam Dawran, presenters with the public broadcaster Radio Television Afghanistan, from working at the station’s offices. Amin was replaced by a male Taliban official.>>
Read more here:

General note by Gino d'Artali: Apart from referring to and quoting from Al Jazeera (Arabian based), The Guardian (UK), Women's Media Centre (US) I from here on will also do so from Rukhshana Media (Afghanistan and women only journalists).

Al Jazeera
15 Sept 2021

<<A month after Kabul’s fall, Taliban stares at humanitarian crisis.
Daunting problems for the group as it seeks to convert its lightning military victory into a durable peacetime government.

A month after seizing Kabul, the Taliban is facing daunting problems as it seeks to convert its lightning military victory into a durable peacetime
government. After four decades of war and the deaths of tens of thousands of people, security has largely improved but Afghanistan’s economy is in
ruins despite hundreds of billions of dollars in development spending over the past 20 years.
Drought and famine are driving thousands from the country to the cities, and the World Food Programme fears its food supplies could start running
out by the end of the month, pushing the 14 million food-insecure Afghans to the brink of starvation.
While much attention in the West has focused on whether the new Taliban government will keep its promises to protect women’s rights and to reject groups like al-Qaeda, for many Afghans the main priority is simple survival.
<Every Afghan, kids, they are hungry, they don’t have a single bag of flour or cooking oil,> said Kabul resident Abdullah.

‘Food emergency’

On Tuesday, Rein Paulsen, director of the Food and Agriculture Organization’s Office of Emergencies and Resilience, told reporters at the UN
headquarters in a video briefing from Kabul that four million Afghans are facing <a food emergency>.

Paulsen said 70 percent of Afghans live in rural areas and there is a severe drought affecting 7.3 million Afghans in 25 of the country’s 34 provinces.
These vulnerable rural communities have also been hit by the pandemic, he said.
Paulsen said the winter wheat planting season – the most important in Afghanistan – is threatened by “challenges of the cash and banking system” as well as challenges to markets and agricultural items.
<More than half of Afghans’ daily calorific intake comes from wheat,> he said.
If agriculture collapses further, Paulson warned, it will drive up malnutrition, increase displacement and worsen the humanitarian situation.
Long lines still form outside banks, where weekly withdrawal limits of about 20,000 afghanis ($200) have been imposed to protect the country’s
dwindling reserves. Impromptu markets where people are selling their possessions have sprung up across Kabul, although buyers are in short supply.

International donors have pledged more than $1bn to prevent what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned could be <the collapse of an entire country>.
Even with billions of dollars in foreign aid, Afghanistan’s economy had been struggling, with growth failing to keep pace with the steady increase in population. Jobs are scarce and many government workers have been unpaid since at least July.

‘Every day, things get worse’

While most people appear to have welcomed the end of fighting, any relief has been tempered by the near-shutdown of the economy.
<Security is quite good at the moment but we aren’t earning anything,> said a butcher from the Bibi Mahro area of Kabul, who declined to give his
<Every day, things get worse for us, more bitter. It’s a really bad situation.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera

<<From: The Stream
Is Afghanistan’s healthcare system about to crumble?
On Wednesday, September 15 at 19:30GMT:

Afghanistan’s healthcare system is on the verge of collapse if the international community doesn’t step in, according to the World Health
Organization. The United Nations last week made an urgent appeal for almost $200m in emergency funding from donor countries. Last month, as a
response to the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul, the World Bank froze tens of millions of dollars in aid earmarked for Afghanistan. Money that hospitals and clinics depended on. According to the country’s acting health minister, Dr Wahid Majrooh, 90 percent of medical facilities across the country face closure because of a lack of money.
<Patients don’t have food. The facilities don’t have fuel – don’t have oxygen,> Majrooh said in an interview with Insider.
The Taliban on Tuesday thanked the nations that have so far donated funds.>>
Read more and watch a video here:

Al Jazeera
15 Sept 2021

<<Afghanistan women’s football team flees to Pakistan.
Girls who played for under-14, under-16 and under-18 teams arrive in Lahore in the wake of Taliban’s takeover.

Members of Afghanistan’s national women’s football team have fled across the border into Pakistan, a month after the Taliban swept back into power, officials say. According to Pakistan’s Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry, the players entered Pakistan through the northwestern Torkham border crossing holding valid travel documents.
<We welcome Afghanistan Women football team they arrived at Torkham Border from Afghanistan. The players were in possession of valid
Afghanistan Passport, Pakistan visa and were received by Nouman Nadeem of PFF (Pakistan Football Federation),> Chaudhry tweeted on Wednesday, providing no further details.
It was unclear how many Afghan female players and their family members were allowed to enter Pakistan.
However, Pakistan’s The Dawn newspaper on Wednesday reported the Afghan female footballers were issued emergency humanitarian visas following the Taliban takeover of Kabul.
Afghanistan’s new rulers, who banned women from playing all sport during their first rule in the 1990s, have indicated that women and girls will face restrictions in playing sport. The group of junior players and their coaches and families had tried to escape the country last month but a devastating bomb attack at Kabul airport left them stranded, someone close to the team told AFP news agency.

<I received a request for their rescue from another England-based NGO, so I wrote to Prime Minister Imran Khan who issued clearance for them to
land in Pakistan,> said Sardar Naveed Haider, an ambassador of global development NGO Football for Peace, based in London.
In total, more than 75 people crossed the northern border on Tuesday, before travelling south to the city of Lahore where they were greeted with
flower garlands.
<They would be travelling and staying in Lahore till they proceed further,> said PFF vice president Amir Dogar.
The girls who played for the under-14, under-16 and under-18 teams crossed the land border dressed in burqas, Haider said, before they later changed into headscarves.>>
Read more here:

Rakhshana Media
15 Sept 2021

<<Three Afghan women protesters end their hunger strike in Britain after six days.

Three Afghan women protesters end their hunger strike in Britain after six days
Three Afghan women migrants who went on a hunger strike in front of the British Parliament building over the situation in Afghanistan ended their
strike after six days.
The women told Rakhshaneh in an interview that they went on strike on September 9 after the Taliban came to power in Afghanistan to protest the current situation in Afghanistan, the Taliban's observance of women's rights, and the cessation of hostilities in Panjshir. They ate.
The women ended their hunger strike today (Wednesday, September 15). They place more emphasis on ensuring women's rights in Afghanistan and preserving the achievements of the last twenty years.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
14 Sept 2021

<<Afghan child, evacuated alone, arrives in Canada: Report
UNICEF estimates 300 unaccompanied minors were evacuated from Afghanistan last month.Afghan child, evacuated alone, arrives in Canada: Report

A three-year-old Afghan boy has made it to Toronto, where his father lives, after leaving Kabul alone more than two weeks ago, Canadian news outlet
The Globe and Mail reported. The boy, whom The Globe identified with the pseudonym Ali for safety concerns for his family in Afghanistan, arrived Canada on Monday after a 14-hour flight from Qatar.
He had survived the suicide blast near the airport that killed 175 people last month but became separated from his mother and four siblings who
remain in Afghanistan.

The child spent two weeks in an orphanage in Qatar before travelling to Canada, accompanied by an official from the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM), according to the report.
<I have no sleep for two weeks,> the boy’s father, who has been living in Toronto for two years, told The Globe at the airport.
Canada, which was part of the US-led coalition that invaded Afghanistan in 2001, has pledged to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Afghans this year.
<Afghans have put their lives at great risk to support Canada in helping Afghans achieve significant democratic, human rights, education, health and  security gains over the past 20 years,> Marc Garneau, Canada’s foreign minister, said in a statement last month. <We owe them a debt of gratitude and we will continue our efforts to bring them to safety.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
14 Sept 2021

<<Taliban broke promises on rights: Outgoing Afghan envoy to UN.
Nasir Ahmad Andisha says ‘women’s rights are disappearing from the landscape’ and accuses the group of ‘widespread atrocities’.

The Taliban has already broken its promises to safeguard women and protect human rights, and the international community must hold it to account, says the outgoing government’s ambassador to the United Nations.
<The Taliban have vowed to respect women’s rights but women’s rights are disappearing from the landscape,> Nasir Ahmad Andisha, who remains accredited at UN bodies despite the collapse of the government he represents, told the Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday.
He accused the Taliban of <widespread atrocities> in the Panjshir Valley, the last part of the country to hold out against the group, and said it was conducting targeted killings and extrajudicial executions, including of young boys.
The Taliban’s appointment of a new interim government <undermines Afghanistan’s national unity political and social diversity>, he said.

The cabinet is made up entirely of men and overwhelmingly members of the Pashtun ethnic group that forms the Taliban’s main base of support but accounts for less than half of Afghanistan’s population.
<At this crucial moment the world cannot remain silent,> he said. <The people of Afghanistan need action from the international community more than ever.>
The Taliban has denied carrying out abuses in Panjshir. It says it is supporting women’s rights within a Muslim context, and that the new interim government will consult the population on an inclusive future permanent system.
Andisha called for the Council to create a fact-finding mission to monitor Taliban actions – an initiative backed by Western countries but which diplomats say is opposed by some Asian states.
On Monday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet rebuked the Taliban for contradicting public promises on rights, including by ordering women to stay at home, blocking teenage girls from school and holding searches for former foes
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
14 Sept 2021
Ali M Latifi

<<Afghanistan’s Muttaqi urges countries to engage with new gov’t Acting Foreign Minister Amir Muttaqi urges international community to resume aid as Afghanistan faces a looming economic crisis.

Kabul, Afghanistan – Afghanistan’s acting Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi has criticised the United States for its actions towards the new Taliban government and for severing economic assistance after the group seized power last month.
In his first address to the media since the Taliban announced its new caretaker government last week, Muttaqi said on Tuesday that the group would not allow <any country> to impose sanctions or embargoes on Afghanistan, including the US.
<[We] helped the US until the evacuation of their last person, but unfortunately, the US, instead of thanking us, froze our assets,> he said.

Since the Taliban took control of the Afghan capital, Kabul on August 15 as former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the US Federal Reserve, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank have cut off Afghanistan’s access to funds, resulting in a widespread liquidity crunch in the cash-dependent economy. Muttaqi thanked the international community for pledging more than $1bn of aid for Afghanistan at a UN donor conference on Monday.
<We welcome the pledge of emergency aid funding committed to Afghanistan during yesterday’s meeting hosted by the UN in Geneva,> he said.

Calls to engage with Taliban

No government has yet agreed to formally recognise the Taliban-led administration in Kabul, which could further imperil the Afghan economy, which has been highly dependent on foreign aid for the last 20 years. According to the World Bank, foreign aid makes up some 40 percent of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product.
Muttaqi said the government was willing to work with any country, including the US, but said it will not be “dictated to” by any state. Last week, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said France <refuses to recognise or have any type of relationship> with a Taliban-led government in Afghanistan.
Guterres remarked at the donor conference that it would be <impossible> to provide humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan without engaging with the Taliban. <I do believe it is very important to engage with the Taliban at the present moment for all aspects that concern the international community,> he said.
He told ministers that believed aid could be used as leverage with the Taliban to achieve improvements on human rights, amid fears of a return to the brutal rule that characterised the Taliban’s first stint in power from 1996 to 2001.
The European Union’s foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Tuesday said the EU has <no other option but to engage with the Taliban>.
Muttaqi urged countries around the world to open formal relations with the Taliban-led government, citing an end to war in the country.
<Security is being maintained across the country,> he said, and stressed that Afghanistan was open for foreign investment.
Muttaqi also said the government would not allow Afghanistan to be used as a base for armed groups to launch attacks on other countries. >>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
14 Sept 2021
Ali M Latifi

<<‘Why are you out?’: Afghan women journalists recall Taliban sweep.
Female journalists who fled the country tell Al Jazeera they were left with no choice amid fears of Taliban persecution.

– In the days leading up to the Taliban takeover of Kabul on August 15, Sama (not her real name), a 27-year-old female journalist, says she tried to stay positive, hoping things will be different this time and that the Taliban might have changed its ways since the 1990s.
<I have interviewed them. I have interacted with them,> she said of her travels across the nation’s provinces, during which she interviewed many Taliban members. Comforted by the group’s fighters treating her <well> during those reporting trips, Sama decided to make a film on life in Taliban-controlled Kabul.
At first, she says, there was <no problem>, that armed Taliban fighters greeted her by calling her <Mor Jana> (mother dear in Pashto). Within days, however, the tide turned. She started receiving <strange> emails and phone calls, telling her to stay inside.

‘Go home, why are you even out?’
But Sama decided to continue filming and was soon faced with a harsh reality. In a span of days, she says the demeanour of Taliban fighters changed.
<Go home, why are you even out?> she was told.
Worse, her driver, who would wait for her and her crew in a parked car, was beaten by the Taliban. She says he likely came under suspicion for three reasons. <He was in a car full of camera equipment, he was wearing jeans and he was a Hazara,> she said.
During its five-year rule in the 1990s, the Taliban banned all recordings, forced men to dress in traditional clothes, and was accused of massacring the Hazara minority.

Sama was grief-stricken that her work put her driver, a longtime friend, in such a position. It was on that day that she decided it was time to leave.
<If I can’t do my job, then I am nothing, she said.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
13 Sept 2021
Ali M Latifi

<<Afghans sell possessions amid cash crunch, looming crisis.
The Taliban takeover, and the resulting cut in international funds, has exacerbated an already dire economic situation.

Kabul, Afghanistan – Shukrullah brought four carpets to sell in Kabul’s Chaman-e Hozori neighbourhood. The area is full of refrigerators, cushions, fans, pillows, blankets, silverware, curtains, beds, mattresses, cookware and shelves that hundreds of others carried to sell.
The goods line the blocks surrounding the once grassy field that has turned to dirt and dust, the result of decades of inattention and drought. Each item amounts to a part of a life families built over the last 20 years in the Afghan capital. Now, they are all being sold at a pittance to feed those very households. <We bought these carpets for 48,000 Afghanis [$556], but now I can’t get more than 5,000 Afghanis [$58] for all of them,> Shukrullah says, as people rummage through the goods on display.
Afghans have faced a cash crisis since the Taliban took control of the capital on August 15. The World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and the US central bank cut off Afghanistan’s access to international funds in recent weeks. Banks across Afghanistan were shuttered and many automated teller machines were not dispensing cash.
While many banks have since reopened, a weekly withdrawal limit of 20,000 Afghanis ($232) was imposed. Hundreds of men and women have spent their days queueing outside the nation’s banks, waiting for the chance to withdraw funds.
For families such as Shukrullah’s though, waiting outside overcrowded financial institutions is not an option.
<I need to make enough to at least buy some flour, rice and oil,> he says of the 33 people in his family who have all moved into one house over the last year.

Even before former President Ashraf Ghani fled the country and the Taliban took control, Afghanistan was already facing a slowing economy that was exacerbated by the global COVID-19 pandemic and a protracted drought that has further devastated an economy highly reliant on agriculture.
In a report released last week, the United Nations warned more than 97 percent of the population could sink below the poverty line by mid-2022.
On Monday, UN chief Antonio Guterres convened a high-level humanitarian aid conference on Afghanistan in Geneva in an effort to raise $600m, about one-third of which will go towards food aid.
The global body has previously expressed deep concern about the economic crisis and the threat of <a total breakdown> in Afghanistan.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
13 Sept 2021

<<International donors pledge $1bn in aid for Afghanistan.
UN chief Antonio Guterres says money is needed for critical food and livelihood assistance amid dwindling supplies in Afghanistan.

Donors have pledged more than a billion dollars to help Afghanistan, where poverty and hunger have spiralled since the Taliban took power, and foreign aid has dried up, raising the spectre of a mass exodus. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said it was impossible to say how much of the money had been promised in response to an emergency UN appeal for $606 million to meet the most pressing needs of a country in crisis.
<It is impossible to provide humanitarian assistance inside Afghanistan without engaging with the de facto authorities,> Guterres told journalists on the sidelines of a donor conference in Geneva, adding it was <very important to engage with the Taliban at the present moment>. Al Jazeera’s James Bay reported from Geneva said that while UN chief was <very pleased> with the response of the international community, he said the prospect of an economic collapse was a <serious possibility>.
<The financial systems at the moment is extremely limited. Which means that a number of basic economic functions cannot be delivered,> he said responding to a question from Al Jazeera at a press conference.

After decades of war, suffering and insecurity, Afghans are facing <perhaps their most perilous hour>, Guterres said earlier on Monday in his opening remarks to the donor conference, adding that <the people of Afghanistan need a lifeline.
<Let us be clear: This conference is not simply about what we will give to the people of Afghanistan. It is about what we owe.>
He said food supplies could run out by the end of the month. The Taliban previously ruled Afghanistan between 1996-2001, barring women from work and teenage girls from school, and were toppled in an invasion led by the United States, which accused them of sheltering al-Qaeda members behind the September 11 attacks. The Taliban swept back to power last month in a lightning advance as the last US-led NATO troops pulled out and the forces of the Western-backed government melted away. With aid flows abruptly ending, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said international donors had a <moral obligation> to continue helping Afghans after their 20-year engagement.
Neighbours China and Pakistan have already offered help. Beijing announced last week that it would send $31m worth of food and health supplies to Afghanistan. Pakistan sent supplies such as cooking oil and medicine to authorities in Kabul, and called for the unfreezing of Afghanistan’s assets.
<Past mistakes must not be repeated. The Afghan people must not be abandoned,> said Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, whose country would most likely bear the brunt of any exodus of refugees.
<Sustained engagement with Afghanistan in meeting its humanitarian needs is essential.>>
Read more here:

Gino d'Artali
Investigative indepth journalist

13 Sept 2021


UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres may sound very optimistic getting the millions together and he even speaks of a <moral engagement needed but...I think many Western and some Arabic countries may feel as if been pushed in a split position also because the so-called a sort of
would be government not even put together by the taliban has not been recognised internationally. I personaly am kind of donating alreading by publishing the Afghanistan's Women Resistence (LINK) and spending many many unpaid hours to do so. A work from the bottom of my heart and to support the women who might again have to face and undergo a sharia dictatorship. I really hope not hence my supporting work for the women.

The Guardian
12 Sept 2021
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kandahar

<<Afghanistan’s shrinking horizons: ‘Women feel everything is finished’
The Taliban claim to have changed, but the crackdown has begun for women across the country.

In two months, Parwana estimates she has crossed the threshold of her home perhaps four times. She used to leave early in the morning, for work that supported her entire family, and then go on to an evening degree course. After the Taliban took over Kandahar, her manager told her not to come to work and her university hasn’t yet sorted out how to put on the gender-divided classes they demanded.
Many people have welcomed the calm that settled over the city after the war abruptly ended, but for Parwana, as a single young woman, streets patrolled by Taliban soldiers are filled with menace. <Now I’m scared to go out. I wasn’t before.>
<I thought I was somebody, I could do something for my family and help others. Now I can’t even support myself,> she said. <Women here feel like everything is finished for them.>
The Taliban leadership, eager for international recognition and funds, has for years been courting the world with promises that the group has fundamentally shifted its positions on women’s rights.
When their fighters seized Kabul, spokesman Zabihullah Mujiahid pledged within days that women would have rights to education and work, within an Islamic framework the group has yet to define.

As the weeks have passed, with no further clarification, the evidence from the ground in Afghanistan suggests they envisage a form of gender apartheid. Women may be offered some rights, but will be expected to study and work in a sphere so totally detached from that of men running the country, the economy and all major sectors that their lives will still be severely curtailed. Niamatullah Hassan, the new Taliban mayor of Kandahar, says he has two women back at work in his administration, out of a 1,200-strong municipal team. He will allow more women employees, once they can be isolated from men and the central government approves.
<I am willing to increase the number of women workers, we are planning to prepare a separate workplace for them, a safe environment for them,> he said.
Health and education workers are mostly still at their offices, though some in Kandahar have been ordered to wear burqas, but all other women have been ordered to stay home indefinitely for “security” reasons. The Observer has pressed senior officials around the country in interviews for a date when women will be allowed back to work nationwide. Most defer the question or offer a vague promise of <soon>. Afghan women are sceptical; in the 1990s the group used the same excuse to ban them from work for the five years they held power.
In education too, there are many promises from the leadership, but women’s experience is of restrictions. Although some private universities have opened, with students strictly segregated by gender, a shortage of female teachers, or female students, will close off many subjects to women.
In Kandahar, Zainab is one of two girls on a science degree course and her university has already said it’s not economical to teach them separately from men. She’s one semester away from finishing, but doesn’t know if she will ever get the degree. <I am so sad, so disappointed.>
Gulalai is glad to be studying medicine, because the Taliban are allowing female doctors to work, but she is bleak about her degree quality. <There aren’t many women students, so we are not going to get expert teachers, we will get the young, inexperienced ones.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
12 Sept 2021
By Nadima

<<Human Rights.

‘Men don’t protect us, they won’t respect us’: Afghan diaries
How one woman is determined to stay despite the uncertain future that women like her face in the country.

Nadima’s family fled Afghanistan when she was a baby. As an adult, she returned. Now despite fears and uncertainty, the 38 year old woman is refusing to leave again. In this article, she reflects on the changes she has witnessed in her country since the Taliban took over on August 15. She wonders what the future holds for women in Afghanistan and questions why most men are not standing with them to speak up for their rights.
All my cousins who I had not seen in 10 years were visiting Kabul over the last three days, from Mazar, from Herat. We all had a good time together.
The house was full of girls, we danced, we all decided to play dress up, they all wore my turbans, we all wore traditional clothes. We sang together, we cooked, we shared stories, we talked about everything that is happening.
One of my cousins thought back to how hard she worked to be a teacher; now she cannot imagine sitting at home and not teaching. She fought for her education, she protested against her family, while the only person who supported her going to India to get her Masters degree was her husband. Even her brother, my cousin, was not for it.
So she cannot imagine staying at home. She is afraid that what happened to her mother, who got hit in the knees by the Taliban in 1999, 2000, might become her story as well. She does not want to be beaten like her mother was for insisting on running her girls school in Heart after Taliban closed it.
My cousin tells me she is very strong and independent and that she will always advocate for education. But she does not feel that she wants to do it from here, so she is going to Turkey.
<These people don’t know our value, our worth, what we have to offer as women so I’ll go to a country where I’m welcomed and appreciated,> she told me. <All the hard work I put into myself to get here, so I can teach another little girl, now I will do that for a country that will accept me and will want their women to be educated,> she said. It made me very sad, you know, because she is valuable to this country, to the young girls here.

She understands the culture, the language, the education system, because she has been through this. She is a mathematics genius and was going to do her PhD. But now somebody else will enjoy the fruit of her hard work, the Turkish students. Now in another country, another group of people are going to be learning from her when she should be teaching children in Afghanistan.
We have lost so many women like her in this country. I am very, very sad.
I will be OK but everybody has left and I’m sitting all alone in the house and I am thinking: what am I going to do?
Because of the decision I made to stay, I cannot even tell anyone how I feel. When there were guns being fired in the air the other day, I called one of my cousins, who also lives in Kabul and cannot leave. I asked her: <Are you OK?> Celebratory gunfire seems to be the new norm, we heard it the day the US troops withdrawal was completed, then again when Mullah Baradar, the deputy leader in the new Afghan government, arrived in Kabul a few days ago. <I will be ok but what the hell are you doing here?> she asked.
<I can’t leave,> I said.
<No, you have no excuse to call me, no reason to call me. You chose to be here – now live with it,> she replied. So I am not even allowed to express how I feel. Those who are choosing to stay here, to raise their voices or try to be part of this and at least observe and understand for themselves, are not even given the chance. People have started to become apathetic because they are just trying to survive. They are worried about the economy, their education, their health. What saddens me is that yes, there is a shift happening, there is a government change, there is the history with the Taliban of the past, people have trauma. But what does this have to do with those women who are continuing their education? What does this have to do with those orphanages that need funding, for the children who are the victims of the last 20 years of war? What about those women who are in hospital about to give birth at any minute? What about the nurses, the doctors, who are going to take care of them?>>
Read the whole article here:
or listen to the story by clicking on the start button to listen to it

Al Jazeera
12 Sept 2021

<<Taliban says women can study in gender-segregated universities.
However, women will be required to wear head coverings and the curriculum is under review, Afghanistan’s new rulers say.

Women in Afghanistan can continue to study in universities, including at the postgraduate level, but classrooms will be gender-segregated and head coverings will be compulsory. Higher Education Minister Abdul Baqi Haqqani laid out the new policies at a news conference on Sunday, a day after the Taliban raised their flag over the presidential palace, signalling the start of work of the new, all-male government announced last week.
The Taliban’s rise has stoked fears the group would turn back to the draconian rule that defined its first stint in power in Afghanistan 20 years ago. That included the denial of education for girls and women, as well as their exclusion from public life.
<We will start building on what exists today,> Haqqani said, maintaining the Taliban’s position that its attitudes, particularly towards women, have shifted in the past 20 years. The most recent statement comes as the group has sought international legitimacy following its lightning-fast offensive across the country as the United States prepared to withdraw troops by an August 31 deadline. The Taliban took Kabul on August 15. Despite the Taliban’s posturing, women have been banned from sports and the Taliban has used violence in recent days against female protesters demanding equal rights.

‘Will not allow co-education’

On Sunday, Haqqani said female university students will face restrictions that include a compulsory dress code. He said hijabs will be mandatory but did not specify if this meant compulsory headscarves or also compulsory face coverings.
Gender segregation will also be enforced, he said. <We will not allow boys and girls to study together,> he said. <We will not allow co-education.>
He said female students would be taught by women wherever possible. <Thanks to God we have a high number of women teachers. We will not face any problems in this. All efforts will be made to find and provide women teachers for female students,> he said.
Haqqani said the subjects being taught would also be reviewed.
While he did not elaborate, he said he wanted graduates of Afghanistan’s universities to be competitive with university graduates in the region and the rest of the world.
The Taliban, which subscribes to a strict and distinct interpretation of Islam, banned music and art during its previous time in power.
This time around, television has remained and news channels still show women presenters, but the Taliban messaging has been erratic.
In an interview on Afghanistan’s popular TOLO News, Taliban spokesman Syed Zekrullah Hashmi said women should give birth and raise children, and while the Taliban has not ruled out eventual participation of women in government, the spokesman said, <It’s not necessary that women be in the cabinet.>>
Read more here:

Rukhshana Media
Published some date in Sept 2021
Note from Gino d'Artali: Rukhshana Media seems to have problems with giving their articles but I'd say, not to worry, as long they're read and I'm more than happy I can support Rukhshana Media as good as I can.

<<Military women in Taliban terror; We want to raise our voices before we are killed!

Note: The English version of this report has been published with a slight difference in its edition by the British newspaper and The Guardian .

By Zahra Joya and Zahra Nader

Negar, a woman who worked as a policeman in Ghor prison for 15 years, told a relative she would not run away, "I did nothing, why would anyone want to kill me?"

The family member, who did not want to be named in the report for security reasons, said that at midnight on Saturday (September 4), three gunmen who identified themselves as Mojahedin Taliban attacked Negar's house. Negar's husband and four sons were handcuffed and imprisoned in a room. Negar was then beaten, and he was shot several times in the back of the head in front of his children>>.
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
11 Sept 2021

<<From: Inside Story
Can the Taliban be trusted with Afghanistan aid?
UN warns of ‘economic meltdown’ without urgent cash and help for Afghanistan.
Much of the world is facing a stark choice with Afghanistan: accept the Taliban as the country’s new leaders, or continue shutting them out.
The group has been barred from accessing the Afghan central bank’s foreign assets worth $10bn.>>
Read more here:

Rukhshana Media
11 Sept 2021

August 15, 1400 was an unusual day in Kabul. On the way to the office, I would occasionally see a group of men walking briskly along the roads. Something collapsed in my heart and my heart rate was slowly rising. The panic of the people signaled an unfortunate event that might be falling that day. It seems that the city of pregnancy is an unpleasant development, a new event, a repetition of the black list of history.

When I reached the back of the bank, I came across the longest line of citizens. It is as if the bank is running away and people are running after money. But the presence of women was pale; very pale; Instead, the ranks of men were increasing every moment. People were rushing their money out of the banks. I did not imagine that all this happened at once. I could not believe that the thoughts of the people of this city would change so soon and they would be affected. When I protested to get a turn at the bank, why is it not the turn of women? A man shamelessly returned and said to me, <You have no place left. You want the color of all of you to be lost. We came here in the morning to pray, are you just waking up and talking about women's rights? >. I felt a deep pain in my heart. It was as if my being was paralyzed by the way he spoke; But I protested against it. I said, <Peace of mind, your life would not be better without our presence,> but is that really so? How effective can a woman's presence be? These are questions that time will tell. Absolute silence reigned everywhere when I went to the office from the bank. All my colleagues were leaving their offices. Everyone was terrified, worried, and in a hurry to find shelter. I had to leave the office. A flood of city residents were fleeing to their homes. The most anxious women passed each other like a hurricane. No means of transportation were found, and women were terrorized and harassed by a flood of men. I saw a girl on the side of the road crying out loud.
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
<<From: The Stream
Bonus Edition: Somalia hunger, Afghanistan’s women, life in Gaza
On Friday, September 10 at 19:30 GMT:
In this bonus edition of The Stream, we go behind the scenes to talk about the growing hunger crisis in Somalia, to hear personal stories from Gaza and we have a special interview with the CEO of Women for Women International from our Instagram Live series.>>
Click here to watch the video:

Al Jazeera
10 Sept 2021

<<UN condemns Taliban violence against peaceful protesters.
The UN calls on the Taliban to immediately cease the use of force and the arbitrary detention of peaceful protesters.

The United Nations has condemned the Taliban’s increasingly violent response against peaceful demonstrators in Afghanistan, as members of the armed group used live ammunitions, batons and whips, resulting in the killing of at least four protesters.
<We call on the Taliban to immediately cease the use of force towards, and the arbitrary detention of those exercising their right to peaceful assembly and the journalists covering the protests,> Ravina Shamdasani, UN rights spokeswoman, told a briefing in Geneva on Friday, adding that reports show house-to-house searches for those who participated in the protests.
Shamdasani also said journalists have faced intimidation. <One journalist was reported to have been told, as he was being kicked in the head that you are lucky you have not been beheaded,> she said. A growing number of demonstrations have emerged across the country since the Taliban seized power on August 15 in a lightning-fast offensive that removed the Western-backed government of former President Ashraf Ghani as US troops withdrew from the country after nearly 20 years of war.
The group – which executed people in stadiums and chopped off the hands of thieves in their previous stint of power from 1996 to 2001 – has repeatedly pledged a more moderate brand of rule. But they have shown clear signs that they will not stand for any resistance against their rule.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, hundreds of protesters took to the street of the capital Kabul chanting anti-Pakistan slogans and calling for “freedom” as many Afghans fear that the new government will mark a swift U-turn on women’s rights and freedom of the press.
The last lot of demonstrators came after the Taliban announced the composition of an interim government dominated by members of the group’s old guard, without any women.

Shamdasani referred to reports that the Taliban beat and detained protesters in Kabul this week, including several women and up to 15 journalists.
Pictures posted by local newspaper Etilaatroz showed physical evidence of floggings and beatings with cables that two of its journalists – Taqi Daryabi and Nematullah Naqdi – were subject to after being arrested while covering a women’s protest.
Daryabi’s lower back, upper legs, and face were covered with deep red lesions. Naqdi’s left arm, upper back, upper legs, and face were also covered in red welts. Two witnesses, who spoke to Al Jazeera on Thursday, said a male protester also left one of the cells “barely” walking.
Following a demonstration of hundreds in Herat, two bodies were brought to the city’s central hospital from the site of the protest, a doctor told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.
<They all have bullet wounds,> he reportedly said.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
10 Sept 2021

<<UN warns Afghanistan at risk of ‘total breakdown’
UN calls for release of frozen assets to avoid economic and social collapse after UNDP said Afghanistan faces staggering poverty.

The United Nations has warned that Afghanistan is at risk of “total breakdown” of the international community does not find a way to keep money flowing into Afghanistan despite concerns over the Taliban government. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) said in a report released on Thursday that about 97 percent of Afghanistan’s population may sink below the poverty line unless the country’s political and economic crises are addressed. Nearly $10bn of Afghanistan’s central bank assets are currently frozen overseas and considered key leverage over the new administration.
But the UN special envoy on Afghanistan Deborah Lyons told the Security Council on Thursday that a way needed to be found to get the money into the country <to prevent a total breakdown of the economy and social order> noting that Afghanistan was facing a storm of crises including a plunging currency, a sharp rise in prices for food and fuel and a lack of cash at private banks. The authorities also do not have the funds to pay salaries, she said.
<The economy must be allowed to breathe for a few more months, giving the Taliban a chance to demonstrate flexibility and a genuine will to do things differently this time, notably from a human rights, gender, and counterterrorism perspective,> Lyons told the 15-member Council, saying safeguards could be devised to ensure the funds were not misused.

Foreign donors led by the United States provided more than 75 percent of the public expenditure for the Afghanistan government that crumbled as the US withdrew its troops after 20 years in the country. President Joe Biden’s administration has said it is open to donating humanitarian aid but says that any direct economic lifeline, including unfreezing the central bank assets, will be contingent on Taliban actions including allowing safe passage to people to leave. The first civilian flight out of Kabul – carrying more than 100 passengers – landed in Qatar on Thursday

The International Monetary Fund has also blocked the Taliban from accessing some $440m in new emergency reserves.
<The Taliban seeks international legitimacy and support. Our message is simple: any legitimacy and support will have to be earned,> senior US diplomat Jeffrey DeLaurentis told the Security Council.
Russia and China, which has offered millions in emergency aid to the country, have both argued for the release of Afghanistan’s frozen assets.

<These assets belong to Afghanistan and should be used for Afghanistan, not as leverage for threats or restraints,> China’s Deputy UN Ambassador Geng Shuang said.

Afghanistan’s UN Ambassador Ghulam Isaczai, who was appointed by the US-backed government that collapsed as the Taliban advanced, urged the Security Council to <withhold any recognition of any government in Afghanistan unless it’s truly inclusive and formed on the basis of free will of the people.>

‘Dire situation’

Al Jazeera’s Charles Stratford, reporting from the capital Kabul, said 18 million people rely on humanitarian aid on a daily basis in Afghanistan, from a population of 38 million people.
<It’s a dire situation. There have been convoys coming across from Pakistan and we know that some NGOs have been using airports in other cities, like Mazar-e-Sharif, to try to get aid in,> he said. <We know there are ongoing discussions within the UN on how to increase the amount of aid.
<But of course, there are some very real problems, like the political situation: there are many Taliban officials in this interim government that are on a black list, one of whom, the interim interior minister, is on terror watch list – so the issue is how to deal with that on an international political level.>
Astrid Sletten from the Norwegian Refugee Council told Al Jazeera: <It’s not just the conflict, it’s the perfect storm.>
<More than half a million people have already fled drought-affected areas and they are at imminent risk of starvation and freezing to death for the upcoming winter. She said that the Taliban has allowed her organisation to bring back female staff to work.
<This is a disaster and the international community needs to step up and support not only humanitarian action but also lift or ease the sanctions,> she said from Kabul.

‘Credible allegations’

The Taliban announced what it said was an interim government on Tuesday, which included no women and several ministers on UN sanctions lists.
Lyons said there were <credible allegations> that the Taliban has carried out reprisal killings of security forces despite promises of amnesty.
She also voiced concern over what she said was the rising harassment of the UN’s Afghan staff, although she said the Taliban had largely respected the world organisation’s premises. Taliban leaders have said they will respect women’s rights in accordance with Islamic law, without elaborating.
When the group was previously in power between 1996 and 2001, women were not allowed to work and girls were banned from school. Women had to cover themselves and a male relative had to accompany them when they left home. Lyons said the UN was receiving increasing reports of women again being subjected to such curbs. <They have limited girls’ access to education in some regions and dismantled the Department of Women’s Affairs across Afghanistan,> she added.
he UN is planning a pledging conference on Monday for humanitarian assistance, although without the Taliban government, which has not been recognised by any country. The appeals for support come despite widespread concerns over an interim government the Taliban named on Tuesday that includes no women and several ministers on UN watchlists over terrorism allegations.

Malala Yousafzai, who as a 15-year-old, was shot in the head by Pakistan’s branch of the Taliban because of her advocacy for girls’ education, told the Security Council she was hearing growing cases of Afghan girls and female teachers being told to stay home.
The Nobel laureate urged global powers to send a <clear and open message> to the Taliban that any working relationship is contingent on girls’ education.>>
Read more here:

and 3 more related articles/links about:
Afghanistan on the brink of universal poverty: UN
Iran insists on ‘inclusive’ government in Afghanistan
First civilian flight from Kabul since US exit lands in Doha
and 2 articles cryfreedom published about Malala Yousafhai:

Rukhshana Media
9 Sept 2021

<<Fear of the Taliban; At least six female students at Seyyed al-Shuhada School were weakened and taken to hospital.

Speaking to Rukhshaneh media, popular sources confirm that a number of female students of the Sayyid al-Shuhada school in western Kabul were shocked and taken to hospital after the Taliban entered the classroom and threatened them.
Relatives of one of the students said the Taliban had asked fifth-grade girls at the school to wear a white cloth with the words <La ilaha illa Muhammad, the Messenger of God> on their foreheads. Speaking to Rakhshaneh media, one person said that the Taliban slapped a student who was the first grade in the class for refusing to do so and pointed a gun at the students. At least six students were shocked and taken to hospital following the Taliban's move, he said. Public sources did not want to be identified due to security concerns. This event took place on Wednesday (September 7). Sources say aerial shots were fired during the girls' holiday, adding to the fear of female students.
According to popular sources, some of these students were hospitalized for several hours and called their parents every time they woke up. The students faced a shocking situation after a bloody attack on the students of this school a few months ago .
The Taliban have not yet commented, but Zabihullah Mujahid, a spokesman for the group, had previously told a news conference that no one, including Taliban forces, had the right to shoot in the air and would be dealt with legally if violated.>>

Al Jazeera
9 Sept 2021
By Ali M Latifi

<<Taliban accused of torturing journalists for covering protests.
Reports show the armed group being violent and intimidating journalists, despite their free-press pledge.

Kabul, Afghanistan – Taliban fighters have been accused of beating and detaining journalists for covering protests in the Afghan capital Kabul, raising questions over the group’s promises on media freedom. Two reporters for the Etilaatroz newspaper – Taqi Daryabi and Nematullah Naqdi – were detained by the Taliban while covering a women’s protest in the west of Kabul on Wednesday morning.
Two other journalists from the newspaper – Aber Shaygan and Lutfali Sultani – rushed to the police station along with the newspaper editor, Kadhim Karimi, to inquire about the whereabouts of their colleagues.
But the moment they reached the police station, they say, Taliban fighters pushed and slapped them and confiscated all their belongings, including mobile phones. <Karimi barely finished his sentence, when one of the Taliban slapped him and told him to get lost,> Shaygan told Al Jazeera, adding that as soon as they introduced themselves as journalists, the Taliban treated them with disdain.

Torture in holding cell

The three men were taken into a small holding cell with 15 people in it, two of whom were reporters with Reuters and Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Shaygan said. It was while they were in holding that the three heard reports of the disturbing abuse suffered by Daryabi, 22, and Naqdi, 28, who were being held in separate rooms. Two other journalists from the newspaper – Aber Shaygan and Lutfali Sultani – rushed to the police station along with the newspaper editor, Kadhim Karimi, to inquire about the whereabouts of their colleagues. But the moment they reached the police station, they say, Taliban fighters pushed and slapped them and confiscated all their belongings, including mobile phones.
The three men were taken into a small holding cell with 15 people in it, two of whom were reporters with Reuters and Turkey’s Anadolu Agency, Shaygan said.
It was while they were in holding that the three heard reports of the disturbing abuse suffered by Daryabi, 22, and Naqdi, 28, who were being held in separate rooms. <We could hear their screams and cries through the walls,> the cellmates said of the piercing cries. <The cellmates had even heard the sounds of women crying from pain.>
Pictures posted by the newspaper online filled in the rest of the story. They showed clear physical evidence of the floggings and beatings with cables both men were subject to. Daryabi’s lower back, upper legs, and face were covered with deep red lesions. Naqdi’s left arm, upper back, upper legs, and face were also covered in red welts. <They were beaten so bad, they couldn’t walk. They were hit with guns, they were kicked, they were whipped with cables, they were slapped,> Shaygan said. He said the violence was so brutal that Naqdi and Daryabi had lost consciousness from the pain.
But it was not just journalists who seemed to meet this fate. Shaygan said a male protester was escorted into their cell by Taliban guards, clearly looking as if he too had been abused.
<He could barely walk, one of the other cellmates had to get up and help him in,> said Shaygan.

Stern warning

Though all five men were released after several hours in detention, Shaygan said they were issued a stern warning from a Taliban official before leaving: <What these protesters were doing is illegal and by covering such things, you all broke the law. We will let you go this time, but next time you won’t be let out so easily.
At the time, protests were not outlawed but, within hours, the Taliban issued a decree saying any protests, along with their slogans, must be approved 24 hours prior by the Ministry of Justice.
Those claims of illegality by the official struck Shaygan and his colleagues as going directly against statements the Taliban have made about freedom of the press in their <Islamic Emirate>. >>
Read more here:

Read also an article by The Guardian on the same topic here:

The Guardian
8 Sept 2021
Humanity United
Zahra Joya for Rukhshana Media

<<‘They came for my daughter’: Afghan single mothers face losing children under Taliban.
Life for single mothers in Afghanistan has always been marred by stigma and poverty. Now with the Taliban in control, what few protections they had have disappeared.

The day after Mazar-i-Sharif, the provincial capital of Balkh province, fell to the Taliban on 14 August, gunmen came for Raihana’s* six-year-old daughter. Widowed when her husband was murdered by Taliban forces in 2020, Raihana had been raising her child as a single mother. After her husband’s death she had fought her in-laws for custody of her daughter and won, thanks to the rights she had under Afghan civil law – which state that single women can keep their children if they can provide for them financially. Now, with her city in Taliban hands, Raihana was alone.
<The day after the fall of Mazar-i-Sharif, my brother in-law showed up at my father’s house, where I lived, with Taliban fighters demanding to give them my daughter,> Raihana told the Guardian. Raihana was lucky. She and her daughter were not at home when the armed men arrived. As soon as she heard, she took her child and fled Mazar-i-Sharif for Kabul.
<They wanted to take my daughter away from me,> she said. <We hid in flour sacks in the back of a truck and when the driver found us we begged him to take us to Kabul.>
Once in the Afghan capital, Raihana went from embassy to embassy seeking help. Eventually her sister, who lives in the UK, was able to get them both on a flight out of Afghanistan to safety. They are now in Manchester.
<I managed to leave Afghanistan after so much hardship. I’m so happy that my daughter is with me,> Raihana says. <I thank the UK government.>

Life for single mothers in Afghanistan has always been marred by stigma, poverty and marginalisation. Now with the Taliban in control, what few protections they had have disappeared and their situation is increasingly desperate.
Yalda, a 28-year-old, single mother of three, is in hiding in Kabul as her ex-husband hunts for her children.
<My ex-husband is a member of the Taliban now and is trying to take my children away,> she said. <My father’s house is surrounded. They’re constantly harassing them, looking for me and my children. He wants to use any opportunity he gets.>
Yalda* says she was terrorised by her husband for years. <My father arranged the marriage when I was only 14 years old. I didn’t know anything about being married – I was still a child myself,> she says.
Soon afterwards Yalda fell pregnant and she had two more children in the years that followed. She also discovered that her husband was a member of the Taliban. She says their marriage was one of violence and abuse.>>
Read more here:

Rukhshana Media
8 Sept 2021

<<The story and perspective of a woman who took part in today's demonstration in Badakhshan.

Hint: This is the story of one of the women who took part in today's demonstration in Badakhshan province, which was sent to Rakhshaneh media . He did not want to be identified due to security threats.
We, the women of Feyzabadi, had organized a rally on 7 September 2021 to stop the war in Panjshir and our freedom and rights, we were gathering, it was 8:50 in the morning. There were about 15 of us, a little further away from us, a number of men had also gathered. The gathering of men and women was in two separate places.
At one point, Taliban forces began firing into the air. The women who had just joined the protest were terrified. We all ran away. And we tried to gather all the binoculars in one place. The Taliban were all amazed to see us. But we were asked to end the protests and return to our homes. Three Taliban fighters tried to get closer to our gathering and disperse us with airstrikes. We did not care about them. We went to the road and chanted the slogans we had. Suddenly, another group of Taliban forces blocked our way and tore up our slogans. They were very violent and used vulgar words. More than four women were beaten to death when our demonstrations caused chaos. A woman was captured, her phone turned off, and she whipped herself. I was shocked by all this cruelty and cruelty of this group. All protesters were forced to flee to local homes or fear of being flogged by the Taliban. Back to the isolation and the corner of the home prison.>>
Click here if you wish to read the article in Arabic:

The Guardian
8 Sept 2021
Peter Beaumont

<<Afghan women to be banned from playing sport, Taliban say.
National cricket team included in prohibition, as interim government containing no women starts work.

Afghan women, including the country’s women’s cricket team, will be banned from playing sport under the new Taliban government, according to an official in the hardline Islamist group.

In an interview with the Australian broadcaster SBS, the deputy head of the Taliban’s cultural commission, Ahmadullah Wasiq, said women’s sport was considered neither appropriate nor necessary. <I don’t think women will be allowed to play cricket because it is not necessary that women should play cricket,> Wasiq said. <In cricket, they might face a situation where their face and body will not be covered. Islam does not allow women to be seen like this. <It is the media era, and there will be photos and videos, and then people watch it. Islam and the Islamic Emirate [Afghanistan] do not allow women to play cricket or play the kind of sports where they get exposed.>
The US state department expressed concern that the new cabinet included only Taliban, no women, and personalities with troubling track records, but said the new administration would be judged by its actions. >>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
8 Sept 2021

<<Afghans protest, fearing curbs on women’s rights, free speech.
The Taliban announced a new government on Tuesday amid protests from Afghans over women’s rights and free speech.

The Taliban announced a new government on Tuesday amid protests from Afghans over women’s rights and free speech. A growing number of protests have emerged across the country over the past week, with many Afghans fearful of a repeat of the Taliban’s previous reign between 1996 and 2001.
Hundreds gathered at several rallies in Kabul on Tuesday, where Taliban guards fired shots to disperse the crowds. In Herat, hundreds marched, unfurling banners and waving the Afghan flag – printed in the vertical tricolours of black, red and green with the national emblem overlaid in white – with some chanting <freedom>.
Later, two bodies were brought to the city’s central hospital from the site of the protest, a doctor in Herat told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals.

<They all have bullet wounds,> he said.

Demonstrations have also been held in smaller cities in recent days, where women have demanded their rights. The Taliban spokesman on Tuesday warned the public against taking to the streets, adding that journalists should not cover any demonstrations.
The group – which executed people in stadiums and chopped off the hands of thieves in the 1990s – has said it would not stand for any resistance against its rule.
Washington, which has said it is in <no rush> to recognise the new government, expressed concern on Tuesday about its members but said it would judge it by its actions. <We note the announced list of names consists exclusively of individuals who are members of the Taliban or their close associates and no women. We also are concerned by the affiliations and track records of some of the individuals,> a State Department spokesperson said.
<We understand that the Taliban has presented this as a caretaker cabinet. However, we will judge the Taliban by its actions, not words.>>
Espessialy vieuw images here because a picture says more than a 1000 words:

Al Jazeera
7 Sept 2021
Ali M Latifi

<<Hundreds of Afghans take to Kabul’s streets calling for ‘freedom’.
Protests erupt in the Afghan capital, with chanting of anti-Pakistan slogans, after the Taliban completes takeover of the country.

Kabul, Afghanistan – Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital Kabul chanting anti-Pakistan slogans and calling for <freedom>, a day after resistance leader Ahmad Massoud called for an <uprising> against the Taliban rule.
The demonstrations – which ranged in size from several hundred to a few dozen – began on Tuesday morning and continued into the afternoon before they were dispersed by the Taliban fighters firing into the air, protesters told Al Jazeera.
Journalists also said that they were prohibited from filming, with TOLONews, a private broadcaster based in Kabul, saying at least one of their cameramen was detained for filming the protests. A source in the traffic police from the previous administration speaking to Al Jazeera from near the entrance to the Presidential Palace, said they saw the Taliban destroy several cameras and arrest journalists as they followed protesters towards the palace. Shakib Ghori, one of the protesters who marched towards the Presidential Palace, said that the crowd of hundreds were only calling for <freedom> and criticising the <intrusion> of neighbouring Pakistan into Afghanistan’s domestic affairs.
Ghori said though the protesters were demanding an inclusive government and that the rights of women be respected, none of their gatherings was meant to be explicitly anti-Taliban.
<We were asking for our rights. A political system that respects all Afghans. And an end to Pakistan’s constant interference in Afghanistan, that’s it,> Ghori said adding that he saw no reason for the Taliban to try and break up the protest.
<We didn’t say anything about the Taliban, so why would they fire?>

Ghori said the Taliban also began to hit people, and he was also hit by the butt of a gun. He also said that he transferred at least two injured protesters to nearby hospitals.

More protests planned.

Demonstrators at other gatherings also reported having seen injured people. At least four protests were reported in Kabul. However, Al Jazeera could not independently verify those claims. Protesters said their movement will continue into the coming days with more and more gatherings being planned online. The demonstrations began late on Monday evening with hundreds of people in Kabul and the central province of Daikondi rallying and chanting anti-Pakistan slogans. The protests came after the Taliban chief spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid warned against any challenge to their rule after capturing the Panjshir Valley, completing their control in all the 34 provinces of the country.>>
Read more here:

Note by Gino d'Artali: The mentioned TOLONews is related to Rukhshana Media.

Al Jazeera
7 Sept 2021

<<Aid groups warn of ‘impending humanitarian crisis’ in Afghanistan.
Call for funding as thousands of health centres and NGOs face closure affecting millions of Afghans.

International aid agencies have raised the alarm about an <impending humanitarian crisis> in Afghanistan, with medical charity Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, or MSF) saying the country’s vulnerable healthcare system was facing a <potential collapse>.
On Monday, the United Nations appealed for almost $200m in extra funding for life-saving aid in Afghanistan after the Taliban’s takeover last month resulted in the exodus of aid workers and subsequent funding cut. <Basic services in Afghanistan are collapsing and food and other life-saving aid is about to run out,> said OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke on Monday.
Martine Flokstra from the MSF said an already dire situation in Afghanistan’s hospitals has become worse since the Taliban’s march on Kabul on August 15 triggered a collapse of the West-backed government.
She said medics have not received salaries in months and health centres are running out of medicines amid an increase in the number of patients coming to facilities. <So potential collapse of the healthcare system is one of our major concerns,> she told Al Jazeera.

<Sirens are sounding,> Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Bellis, reporting from Kabul, said about SOS being sent out by aid agencies such as World Health Organization (WHO), MSF, Afghan Red Crescent and Red Cross.
The WHO has warned that Afghanistan was becoming increasingly desperate and that a pause in the country’s wellness projects has left millions of Afghans at risk of losing essential medical care. <WHO has said that 90 percent of their clinics will close imminently,> Bellis said, adding that last year they treated millions of people through their 2,300 health clinics spread across the country.
Continue to provide assistance
The UN humanitarian agency OCHA said the extra sum meant a total of $606m in aid was now needed for Afghanistan until the end of the year, as the country has been cut off from the international financial institutions and its foreign reserves frozen by the US.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that they will continue to provide assistance despite sanctions on the Taliban. <We are determined with the international community to continue to provide the Afghans with humanitarian assistance. We can and will do that working through partners and NGOs such as the United Nations as sanctions remain in place on Afghanistan,> he said at a news conference in the Qatari capital Doha.
Al Jazeera’s Bellis said donor countries are trying to find ways to send aid through different aid agencies.
<It is a complicated picture in Afghanistan. It is a vulnerable country, but it has always relied on international aid and donors and a lot of that money isn’t coming because of sanctions on the Taliban,> she said.

UN meet over Afghan issue

The Afghan situation will be discussed next Monday at a ministerial meeting in Geneva hosted by UN chief Antonio Guterres. The country, now under the control of the Taliban after 20 years of war, is facing a <looming humanitarian catastrophe>, Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric warned last week announcing the conference. OCHA voiced hope that countries would pledge generously at the conference, saying $606m was needed to provide critical food and livelihood assistance to nearly 11 million people, and essential health services to 3.4 million. The funds would also go towards treatment for acute malnutrition for more than a million children and women, water, sanitation and hygiene interventions, and protection of children and survivors of gender-based violence.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
6 Sept 2021

<<Google locks Afghan gov’t emails to keep from Taliban: Report.
Gov’t databases, emails could give details on employees of the former administration, contractors, allies, Reuters said.

'Wealth of information’
Publicly available mail exchanger records show that some two dozen Afghan government bodies used Google’s servers to handle official emails, including the ministries of finance, industry, higher education, and mines. Afghanistan’s office of the presidential protocol also used Google, according to the records, as did some local government bodies.
Read more here:

Note from Gino d'Artali:
I will immediately give this info to Rakshana Media knowing they have problems with their email accounts and ask them to forward it to colleague journalists they know.

Rukhshana Media

<<The Taliban shot dead a former female police officer in Ghor
14 September (i.e. 4 Sept)


A local journalist in Ghor province told Rakhshaneh media that Hassan Hakimi, a civil activist in Ghor, was quoted as saying that the policeman was working in the province's central prison before the fall of Ghor to the Taliban and was named Negar.
The reporter, who did not want to be named in the news, said that according to Hakimi, Taliban members shot the woman in the evening (Saturday, September 4) at her home in the city of Firuzkuh.
According to the information newspaper Rooz , some popular sources in Ghor have claimed that the woman was pregnant in addition to having a baby. The Taliban has not yet commented. Women in the police and army are worried about Taliban attacks. These women call on the international community to put pressure on the Taliban to refrain from retaliatory and retaliatory attacks on the military.>>

Al Jazeera
7 Sept 2021

Note Gino d'Artali: Excerpt from the online article
<<The Taliban had promised an <inclusive> government that represents Afghanistan’s complex ethnic makeup – though women are unlikely to be included at the top levels.>>

What a surprise!!

In any case, read the article here:

Al Jazeera
6 Sept 2021

<<Google locks Afghan gov’t emails to keep from Taliban: Report.
Gov’t databases, emails could give details on employees of the former administration, contractors, allies, Reuters said.

'Wealth of information’
Publicly available mail exchanger records show that some two dozen Afghan government bodies used Google’s servers to handle official emails, including the ministries of finance, industry, higher education, and mines. Afghanistan’s office of the presidential protocol also used Google, according to the records, as did some local government bodies.
Read more here:

Note from Gino d'Artali:
I will immediately give this info to Rakshana Media knowing they have problems with their email accounts and ask them to forward it to colleague journalists they know.

Rukhshana Media
4 Sept 2021

<<The monologue that has been silenced by the voices of Afghan women.

A woman in the safest city in the world walks day and night in deep helplessness to save her young sisters from a fallen cable.
At seven o'clock in the evening, Swiss time, Mursal Ali's father called her and said in a trembling voice, <My daughter, do not worry, Mazar-e-Sharif has fallen and I have sent your mother and sisters to Kabul.> She wakes up that night crying and wailing over her sisters and all the women of Afghanistan who have fallen back into the black ideological pit of Talabani.
The next dark night, he discovers that his sisters have thousands of other sisters trapped in the darkest part of the history of ignorance and misogyny. Mursal Ali Zani launches silent protest in Switzerland. She stands on the side of the road for two hours a day on official days, and continues to protest in silence until no one asks a question.
She says Afghan women need help more than ever at this time. He wants women's voices to be heard alone; However, her friends have accompanied her so far, and several Swiss media outlets have reported on his protest, and some Swiss citizens have supported Mersel with a smile and sometimes even asking how we can help you.>>
Please read more here:

Note from Gino d'Artali: with the choice to read the article in Arabic. Also, with my deepest respect for Rakshana Media but they mixed up a 'she' for a 'he'.

Rukhshana Media
4 Sept 2021

<<Hundreds of Afghans are fleeing the country every day as US-led foreign troops announce the withdrawal of US-led troops from Afghanistan and the spread of Taliban insurgent attacks across the country.

Among them, however, are those who, as the saying goes, <have no place to go and no place to stay,> are divorced women living alone. Ever since the US decided to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan, the fear of the Taliban returning and the deteriorating security situation in the country has become a nightmare for all Afghans, especially women living alone.
Rakhshaneh Media have spoken to some of these women about their concerns. The women say that in the nearly eight years of loneliness they experienced, and in a situation where Afghanistan was better off, they could hardly have fought for their most basic rights in Afghanistan's traditional and patriarchal society, and now if the Taliban When power returns, they have no way of surviving.
On the seventh floor of a building on the western outskirts of Kabul, two women live alone. Roghayeh and Tahereh. Women who have been separated from their husbands for about seven or eight years.>>

The Guardian
3 Sept 2021
Emma Graham-Harrison in Kabul and Akhtar Mohammad Makoii

<<Evidence contradicts Taliban’s claim to respect women’s rights.
There are signs of a return to something worryingly close to the hardline restrictions of the past across Afghan life.

When Taliban fighters moved into Herat city in western Afghanistan last month, one thing mattered more to some of them than the battle itself. As gunmen faced off around the governor’s office, a group of militants came to Shogofa’s* workplace and ordered all the women home.
<They hadn’t even taken all the city, but they came to our headquarters. The manager called an emergency meeting and they told all the women to leave,> she said. As the main breadwinner for her widowed mother and disabled brother, losing her job means destitution. So on Thursday she decided to publicly challenge Afghanistan’s new rulers. With about 40 or 50 other women, she walked to the seat of city government chanting: <No fear, we are united.> <We hoped we could tell the governor how we are struggling, but they let us stand there for some time then removed us – we couldn’t even meet him,> she said.
Since seizing Afghanistan, Taliban spokesmen and high officials have promised to respect women’s rights to work and education, albeit within an Islamic framework they refuse to define. These pledges have prompted an international discussion about how much the Taliban have changed since they ruled the country with extreme and oppressive misogyny in the 1990s, barring women from almost all work and education.
There have been calls from abroad to give the group time to form a government and lay out its policy before pressing too hard on women’s rights. But there is increasing evidence from across Afghanistan that the biggest changes may be in messaging, rather than ideology.
Women protesting in Herat had been stripped of their jobs two weeks ago; reports from elsewhere include gunmen ordering bank tellers out of their jobs in Kandahar.

The Taliban have already asked most women to stay home, claiming it is a temporary measure for <security reasons>, but that explanation has an ominous ring to Afghan women whose memories stretch back to the last time the group held power.
<We heard some of these explanations in 1996 to 2001, when the Taliban said that the reason girls couldn’t study and women couldn’t work was because the security situation wasn’t good, and once the security situation was better they could go back. Of course that moment never arrived,> said Heather Barr, associate director of the women’s rights division at Human Rights Watch.
<This indicates that even in the 1990s the Taliban felt the need to disguise some of their misogyny. So this is not an entirely new communications strategy they are pursuing now and Afghan women can see that.>
Other crippling rules from that period that have resurfaced unofficially, according to accounts from Afghan women, include a requirement for a male guardian, or mahram, to accompany them in any public space.
Bano, another protester in Herat, works in healthcare, one sector where the Taliban have specifically called on women to come back to their jobs, but says she was ordered home for commuting alone.
Her husband, a soldier, has been missing in action for three years and with no adult sons or brothers nearby, she has no one to fill this role. <They said I should stay at home because I don’t have a mahram to accompany me to the entrance of the clinic,> she told the Guardian by phone.
She has been the sole breadwinner for three children since her husband went missing and she is getting desperate. <I am borrowing money from my friends and relatives in the city. We cannot go on like this.>
The women said they spoke for many others facing similar crises, but who were too frightened to come out on Taliban-controlled streets.>>
Read more here:

Gino d'Artali
3 september 2021

Inside information in Pashir from an anonymous female journalist who tells on the phone that residents flee as Taliban intensifies battle to take Panjshir. The fighting has been going on for 4 days now and is between the taliban and Ahmad Massoud, the son of slain commander, Ahmad Shah Massoud. The taliban tries to also fully control this province.
But the innocent people, families with children, are scared and starving because also they cannot withdraw money from the bank and small shop and supermarket are reluctant to re-open.
I'll keep you informed as good I can.

Al Jazeera
2 Sept 2021
By Ali M. Latif.

<<Herat women protest against Taliban over right to work.
About 60-80 women demonstrate in Herat city demanding Taliban’s commitment on women’s empowerment.

Dozens of Afghan women have demonstrated in the western city of Herat to demand their rights to employment and education. Mariam Ebram, who was in attendance at the protest on Thursday, told Al Jazeera that they took to the streets out of frustration with the lack of answers from the de facto Taliban government on women’s right to work.
The 24-year-old said that for weeks she, and other women, were told not to come to work or were turned away when they arrived at their offices in the biggest city in western Afghanistan.
Ebram said that she and a group of other Herati women met top Taliban officials to ask for a clear explanation of their policies on the rights of women, but never received a suitable answer.
<After weeks of trying to engage with the Taliban at all levels, the women decided to make their voices heard publicly,> Ebram said.
<We tried talking to them, but we saw that other than the Taliban of 20 years ago, there was no one there. There was no change,> she said, referring to Taliban’s previous rule between 1996-2001, which was marked by ban on women education and employment.
Since retaking Afghanistan last month, the Taliban leadership has assured that they would allow women to work and pursue education, as Afghans fear the return of strict rule.
She said the women spoke frankly to several Taliban leaders, including the police chief and the director of information and culture, <You got rid of the occupier, you snuffed out democracy, but what will you bring in place of it, and what will our role be?>
Dozens of women in western Herat province protested in the city and chatting <don’t afraid, don’t afraid, we are together>.
It is the first ever protest in the country after Taliban took over Afghanistan.]


Ebram said she accepted the Taliban’s criticism of the previous government as <corrupt>. But they wanted to know what the new Taliban-led system would offer to women, she told Al Jazeera.
She said a recent interview by senior Taliban leader Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanikzai forced them to take to the streets. In a recent interview with the BBC Pashto, Stanikzai said there “may not” be a place for women in a future Taliban-led government.
<All we are asking for is rights,> Ebram said of the women’s demands, adding that <a government without women will never last.>
However, she said that if the Taliban allows equal representation of women in the government and Loya Jirga (national assemblies), she and her colleagues would accept them.
In recent weeks, the Taliban has been sending mixed messages about women working. In late August, the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said that women who work with the government should stay at home until they can insure their safety on the streets and in offices.
However, last week, the Taliban called on female workers at the Ministry of Public Health to return to work.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
2 Sept
Marwan Bishara
Senior political analyst at Al Jazeera

<<Of Western wars and Muslim women.
If Western wars are meant to ‘liberate’ Muslim women, why did centuries of Western military intervention fail to do so?

Author’s note: Twenty years ago, the United States and the United Kingdom exploited the cause of women and girls in Afghanistan and the rest of the Muslim world to justify their invasion, occupation and other forms of intervention in Muslim nations. Their leaders enlisted their wives, Laura Bush and Cherie Blair, in the propaganda war to “lift the veil” on the Taliban, well after the group retreated under fire.
In the following years, more women entered the workforce and more girls went to school, but Afghans continued to suffer from widespread poverty, illiteracy, and patriarchy compounded by violence, repression and war, hurting women first and foremost. Afghanistan became the “forgotten war” and the cause of its women disremembered until recently when the Trump administration basically handed Afghanistan back to the Taliban and the Biden administration withdrew US forces rather humiliatingly from the country.
Suddenly, the cause of Afghan women is back in the headlines for fear that the little that was accomplished may be reversible. As I wrote back in 2010 in the piece below, despite the best of intentions on the part of many, Western military crusades in the Muslim world do not solve social and political problems; they compound them.

Editor’s note: The article below first appeared on Al Jazeera’s website on August 5, 2010, under the title Western wars vs Muslim women.

note from Gino d'Artali: the below of the page is like the above quotes i.e. excerpts.

Western media is awash with reports about Taliban mistreatment of women in Afghanistan and Pakistan that feature countless voices in support of the war to secure a “brighter future for women’s rights”. This week’s Time magazine cover story is a case in point.
If Western wars <liberated> Eastern women, Muslim women would be – after centuries of Western military interventions – the most ‘liberated’ in the world. They are not, and will not be, especially when liberty is associated with Western hegemony.
Afghanistan has had its share of British, Russian and American military intervention to no avail. In fact, reports from credible women’s groups there signal worsening conditions for Afghan women since the US invasion a decade ago.>>
Read more here:

Al Jazeera
1 Sept 2021

<<From: The Stream
Afghanistan: What’s next for those who stayed?

The Taliban are celebrating after the departure of the last US troops in Afghanistan after 20 years of occupation but what comes next is unclear.
Over the last two weeks, all eyes had been on Kabul airport as the US and NATO countries worked to evacuate their personnel and Afghan allies before a deadline of August 31. But with the world’s media focused on the evacuation, what has been happening elsewhere in the country as Afghans adjust to life under the Taliban?
For some, the Taliban represent a welcome change from the government of former president Ashraf Ghani, widely reported to have been rife with corruption. Others are fearful about what their rule could mean for personal freedoms, particularly those of women and girls.

The new government of Afghanistan has a host of immediate issues to address, including food and economic insecurity. Afghans are struggling to withdraw money from banks while others are in desperate need of food and shelter. The United Nations has estimated that millions of people are at risk of severe malnutrition.>>
Watch here the video:

The Guardian
31 August 2021
Daniel Boffey in Brussels

<<Germany warns EU against setting target of Afghan refugees.
Interior minister says ‘pull-effect’ could risk sparking fresh European migration crisis.

Germany has warned fellow EU governments against following the UK’s lead in setting a target number of refugees from Afghanistan to be resettled in the union, claiming it will act as a pull-factor.
Horst Seehofer, the German interior minister, said that despite the reluctance of countries such as Austria there should be a common EU asylum policy but that the union should not risk a new migration crisis.>>
Read more here:

The Guardian
31 August 2021
Akhtar Mohammad Makoii in Islamabad

<< <People are broken>: Afghans describe first day under full Taliban control.
Citizens tell of ‘absolute feeling of depression’ after last American troops left country overnight.
Arifa Ahmadi* started her first day under full Taliban control by burning her jeans and any other clothes that the Taliban would be likely to disapprove of as the nation woke up to a new era after the last American troops left the country overnight.
Ahmadi is a part of the generation that has grown up during the past 20 years and enjoyed freedom, education and employment under a government backed by the west – but lost her job after the Taliban took over the country.
<I tried a lot to get a job in a customs office in Farah and I got that. I celebrated it with my friends. I invited them to my home. We were very happy,>Ahmadi told the Guardian. <But I lost it only after three weeks. Many of women were asked by the Taliban to leave the office. As I looked at the situation, I didn’t even try to go back.>
She added: <A man with a long beard is sitting on my chair now.>
The Taliban have so far been at pains to show a more conciliatory face to the world, with none of the harsh public punishments and outright bans on public entertainment that characterised their previous time in power before 2001.
But Ahmadi left Farah after the Taliban overran the city and has been living in Kabul since then, hoping to leave the country through a foreign company.

<I have been crying since this morning. My brother went out and bought me a burqa, I burned my jeans today. I was crying and burning them, I burned my hopes with them. Nothing will make me happy any more. I am just waiting for my death, I do not want this life any more,> Ahmadi said.
<Since the Taliban took Farah, all these days I was feeling like I’m falling, and today I felt like crashing to the ground and dying. I have no feeling now, I am a dead girl now. Everything finished for me this morning, and also for all the people in the city. You can see nobody laughing outside. An absolute feeling of depression is all over the city.> >>
Read more here:

The Guardian
31 August 2021
Nelufar Hedayat

<<My Afghan relatives refuse to be forced back into their homes. Talking to them is heart-wrenching, but leaves me with hope.
Nelufar Hedayat is an Afghan-British journalist.
I call my father every other day now. This is new. There used to be times where weeks would go by and we wouldn’t hear from each other. Now it’s different. Often, I call him to help stymie the gulps and tears, the flood of feelings of hopelessness, to talk about the trauma and the flashbacks I’m having from when I was made a refugee of the war in Afghanistan in the 1990s.
I’m a different person from three weeks ago – before the Taliban walked in and took over Kabul, declaring themselves the new leaders of Afghanistan. My headphones blare out warbling ballads by Farhad Darya, a name many might not recognise but, to millions of Afghans and our diaspora, an icon and arguably the most lauded male pop star to come out of my beautiful broken birth-land. <Oooh those days / Safe as houses, boy we were safe / our hearts close together / Lying in the acacia’s shade, Kabul was safe.>
The words are piercing to me. Afghanistan, in the past century or so, has never been both peaceful and prosperous. What we would now call a developing nation, Afghanistan has for many reasons been a poor one. The past 20 years of western occupation and proxy warfare have carved destitution on the land and chiselled despair on the faces of many of my countrymen and women.

The dream of self-determination has eluded Afghans for longer, more than 40 years and counting. Whatever the invading force, whether internal or external, the land of the Afghans has been a battleground of ideologies. Communism, capitalism, liberal democracy or Islamic state. None has lasted long. Through foreign meddling, the graveyard of empires has become the graveyard of innocent Afghans too, lest we forget.
It’s true that on balance the occupation of Afghanistan since 2001 was a good thing. Sort of. There were pockets of progress. I’ve seen it myself in my years of reporting and visiting, and from hearing stories from all my family still living there. The average life expectancy increased by 10 years. Literacy rates increased to 43% and, among young adults, reached 65%. Afghan girls and boys went to school in droves and women were allowed to work, become politicians, journalists and academics. That’s not to say it was all women’s liberation and nation-building. There was economic strife, and a hailstorm of terror attacks. It’s a testament to the Afghan people that, despite the loss of interest by the international community, the people still made such gains.
As a former refugee, I’m often asked about the women of my birth-land. In 2011 I made my first documentary for the BBC about what life was like for the women of Afghanistan. To this day I am awestruck by their bravery and stoic persistence. I think of them when I’m fearful, or tired of fighting my struggles: the glassy-eyed stare they would give me when I would ask, <Aren’t you scared of being killed for writing/saying/doing this?>. I know that stare now. It’s the <I can’t not do this> look that women who are fighting for their very existence have all over the world. It’s the silence of terror, not triumph.
When I watched TV footage from the Hamid Karzai International airport compound, with the talented women and men of Afghanistan getting ready to be evacuated for new lives as refugees, I could think only of the women who fought a repressive culture, near abject poverty and the Taliban, just to now be deprived of the fruits of their toil.

Tens of thousands of Afghans have escaped Taliban control, among them the country’s brightest and best. Once again, Afghanistan suffers the incalculable cost of a brain drain.

The Taliban high command are instructing their countryfolk to stay and build their new emirate – with the caveat that, for now, women should not leave the house until the rank-and-file Talib can be trained in how not to brutally assault them.
I think of these women, including my cousins and aunties that I know will refuse to be forced back into their homes. I can’t bring myself to speak to them, so my dad puts the phone on speaker so I can listen. <Nazir,> his older sister says, <I had to shut the school again, we’re running out of money and food. I’ve said so much against them, they won’t let me live. I know it.> In another call, my cousin says: <I taught a course in democracy, uncle. I know they will come to kill me. Thank you for everything you have done for us. Please forgive me if I have ever upset you. God have mercy.>
Read more here:

Rukhshana Media

<<On the fourth day of Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Kabul is almost empty of women. At least it is empty of working women. The presence of women is very small and with Islamic hijab. Only those women who were accompanied by a man were able to leave their homes.
These women left their homes only to buy their daily necessities. All educational centers, schools, universities, public and private offices have been closed since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan.
On the third day of the Taliban's rule in Kabul, Rakhshaneh's correspondent in the city encountered several groups of women, all in long black uniforms, walking around the city with a man. Unlike a few days ago and before the fall of Kabul, women do not walk fearlessly. The eyes are frightened and move fast. But the presence of armed Taliban in the city is more than two days ago.
Today, August 18, the fourth day of the Taliban presence in the Afghan capital, women are still at home. Only a handful of female journalists and media workers were present in their offices.>

woman is willing to be interviewed.

Control of all Afghan government departments except Afghan embassies and political representations outside Afghanistan is in the hands of the Taliban, and the group's white flag is flown in front of the Afghan government ministries and independent offices. The city is empty of order and there are no police or traffic that is a symbol of urban order. A Kabul resident said he had seen the Taliban seize police rangers illegally speeding through the streets and sidewalks.

At around 10 am Kabul time, I decided to go to the city after three days of house arrest. With the consent of my parents, I was able to rent a taxi from a transport company that provides transportation services. The taxi driver said that after the Taliban's presence in Kabul, the transport company's female customers had dwindled and that most of the girls who had previously used the taxi's services left their homes in long robes and hijabs. The majority of the girls who left their homes and used the taxi company are women and girls who live alone or have no men in their homes. I still could not believe that the Taliban were in control of Kabul. On the road, I felt calm for a moment when my eyes fell on the police Ranger; But immediately the faces of the Taliban soldiers riding in this Ranger changed my mood. Taliban militants use Afghan police and army vehicles that once gave hope to Afghan citizens. They do not use any specific uniforms to frighten citizens less.

Every few steps, Taliban armed forces are present in the city and control the situation. All the banks and exchange offices are closed and people are in a state of panic about what will happen.
The situation in Kabul is like a bubble at sea that will change whenever possible. There is no law, except the strict law of the Taliban, which is unbearable for the citizens of this city. The people of Afghanistan are afraid of starting and repeating another civil war, and they are all terrified.
<I lost sleep, said a Kabul resident. I'm worried about what will happen in an hour. The beginning of the civil war in this country has made everyone worried and scared. "I hope Afghanistan does not experience civil and ethnic war this time.>
The Red Bridge area, known as the cultural center of Afghanistan's young and educated generation, is not as vibrant as before. Roads and sidewalks look empty, especially. A small number of tired and depressed men are wandering around the road from unemployment. All restaurants and coffee shops, including those run by women, are closed. During these four days, restaurants and cafes in Kabul were empty of women and no woman dared to go to a restaurant or cafe.
<Our world has changed forever," Leila Heydari, owner of the Taj Begum restaurant, wrote on her Twitter account on the third day of the Taliban's rule in Afghanistan. <There is no longer a crown.> The woman closed the gates of her restaurant after the fall of Kabul.
In a few steps there is another restaurant run by women, closed for the fourth day. All hairdressers in the city are closed. But instead, men's hairdressers are open and active.
Tomorrow, 28 August, equals 19 August 2021, is the 122nd anniversary of Afghanistan's independence. Hundreds of people in Nangarhar province today tried to raise the official tricolor flag of Afghanistan. But they faced opposition from the Taliban. Taliban fighters fired on protesters, blocking their work.>>

The Womens Centre
27 August 2021

<<How to Limit the Disaster for Afghanistan's Girls and Women.
This story was originally published by Newsweek.

Neelab* remembers life under the Taliban.

When she was 10, a talib stopped an SUV she was in. It was a wedding party—they were all female members of her family, save for the male driver. The women, realizing what was happening, hurriedly put on their burqas but a 16-year-old cousin, Amineh*, froze in fear. The talib forced his way into the vehicle and upon seeing Amineh’s hair, immediately began whipping her. Everyone started screaming.
<Imagine, we were in such a good mood, coming from a wedding party,> Neelab said. <And then this happened.>
There is an Afghan adage that says women <hold up half the sky.> On the surface, the deal that the U.S. signed with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar on February 29, 2020, appeared to have sealed the women’s fate in Afghanistan. There were no provisions for women’s rights. The U.S. government deferred the issue of gender equality to intra-Afghan negotiations.
With the fall of Kabul and the Taliban in control of most of the country now, how women’s rights will be defined is in the hands of the Taliban and their interpretation of Sharia law. This may provide surprising wiggle room for future negotiations. The
U.S., by carefully leveraging its partnerships with Muslim-majority countries, may still be able to make a crucial difference to the lives of Afghan women and girls. According to a Brookings Institution September 2020 report, the issue of women’s rights is a highly contested and charged debate within Afghan society.
The good news in the past two decades is that Afghan women have made some progress in terms of political representation, education, employment and health care. Today, 27 percent of seats in parliament are reserved for women. In 2003, fewer than 10 percent of girls were in primary education. By 2017, that number had grown to 33 percent. By 2020, 21 percent of Afghan bureaucrats were women compared with almost zero during the Taliban regime. Women’s life expectancy increased from 57 years in 2000 to 66 in 2018. Maternal mortality rates declined from 1,450 per 100,000 live births in 2000 to 638 per 100,000 in 2018.
But cultural norms persist. A 2019 study by UN Women and partners showed that only 15 percent of Afghan men think women should be allowed to work outside the home after marriage. Two-thirds of men feel that Afghan women have too many rights. The same study observed that male Afghan powerbrokers <resent quotas for women in public shuras (assemblies)> and in parliament. An August 2021 U.S.

Congressional Research Service report noted that the <failure to anticipate Afghan cultural context undercut US efforts to support women and girls.>
The same UN study revealed that important segments of Afghan society appear to be becoming more conservative, welcoming interpretations of Sharia law that call for curtailing women’s rights and freedoms. About half of women languishing in prison and 95 percent of girls in juvenile detention are detained for <moral crimes> such as having sex outside of marriage. Female rape victims have been murdered by their families in <honor killings.>
Read more here:


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