Banned from universities and working in NGOs, Afghan women expect more solidarity than men

They want to make them disappear, invisible. So giving voice to these out of sight Afghan women is an absolute emergency, an existential necessity. He is a student of the picture. At the age of 24, he screams his pain and despair. “Our oxygen is no longer useful for us. We were buried alive. But what do men do, ours? When I want to demonstrate, my brother warns me: “Don’t go, it’s very dangerous.” I tell him that he doesn’t have to tell me, but instead: “Wait, I’m coming with you.” »

It is forbidden to work in NGOs after education and rest

On Wednesday morning, Shakila woke up with an unprecedented enthusiasm. The director of an Islamic institute in his town had just sent an SMS that went against Taliban orders and allowed students to skip English classes. He had never dressed so quickly. However, once there, a group of regime men was waiting for the students in a pickup truck.

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Also read – “I’m no longer alive, only alive”: Afghan women, hostages of the Taliban nightmare

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“They shouted that if you are human, you have ears and you can hear. They told you to sit at home and try to study.” People, what can be said about so much stupidity and hatred? » The young woman’s voice had stopped treble rising. There was silence. A metaphor for living death in full view of all the world that has the power to see them. And look away.

No country can develop if half the population is left out

The Taliban regime that came back to power in Kabul in August 2021 accelerated the ban on women in just one week. After education and leisure, working in international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) is now out of reach for them. Through UN Secretary General António Guterres, he condemned the decisions on this matter. “Significant setbacks in the potential of the Afghan population” and High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker emphasized through eTürk“If half of the population is excluded, no country can develop socially and economically, or even survive”.

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In turn, NGOs stop their activities

The day after the Taliban’s announcement, half a dozen NGOs temporarily suspended their activities there. “The Minister of Health nuanced this instruction, Mélissa Cornet, Advocacy Consultant at Care, where women make up 38% of the workforce, explains, said that they will be allowed to continue working in the health sector. » In fact, there is a discrepancy between the capital Kabul, a show of force, and the provinces of the country, where restrictions in this sector are not applied to the letter.

Also Read – Zarifa Ghafari, survivor of Taliban regime in Afghanistan: “I must continue to serve the people”

Pierre Micheletti, president of Action Against Hunger (ACF), who decided to take a break, has already felt the difference. “We are waiting for what will happen. Evidence from the ground in the provinces where we are involved shows that the Taliban’s decisions are not being followed. The stakes for the coming weeks or months will be on the actual implementation of the Kabul directives. »

Sarah Chateau, head of Afghanistan operations for Medecins Sans Frontières (MSF), which has chosen to keep all its branches open, confirms that health-related activities are not affected by the directives. Tolerance, but for how long? “It probably won’t last. press We fear that this rule, which currently applies to the private sector, will soon apply to public hospitals as well. But the work of women in health is important. Now there is only one cardiologist in the whole country. » However, according to Taliban laws, only a woman can treat a woman.

Funnel, choking technique

Limiting them in the social space by prohibiting them from working, closing the doors of secondary and higher schools in their faces and preventing them from learning, prohibiting access to parks and beauty salons, even excluding them from spending their free time. Cut them off from the world and cut them off from each other. The Taliban regime knows very well where it is going. The gentler sex represents the transmission belt for the liberation of an entire society that is both ideologically and politically intolerable for them. Restricting them also means bypassing the men around them, imprisoning them, punishing their wives or daughters if they are not considered exemplary. Therefore, one gets the impression that they do not show much solidarity.

What have we done to these men so that they do not come to our defense?

“I don’t measure the degree of coercion they may suffer, but men don’t support women enough, Ghaazal Habibyar, the former deputy minister of mines and gas of Afghanistan, who currently lives outside the country, breathes. Secondary education has been closing its doors for a year now. These men, these fathers, these husbands, “I have a daughter, I have a sister, I have a wife!” he did not shout. Only a small percentage, students and teachers, have protested recently. »

Also read – Writer and filmmaker Atiq Rahimi: “The men left in Afghanistan are not armed to defend themselves”

The author of an influential book on the history of Sami Nouri, who settled in France (Sewing-machineWith Olivia Karam, in Robert Laffont), this world is upside down. “We are taught to protect women and they are at the front of the battle. I would die for my mother or my sister. » The student Shikela is following the upheavals happening in her neighbor Iran very carefully. “When I see men and women taking to the streets side by side and fighting for common freedom, I don’t see why it’s any different in Afghanistan.” What have we done to these men so that they do not come to our defense? »

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