Afghan Women Continue To Struggle

( – An Afghan human rights group blasted the international community for remaining silent following the Taliban’s recent announcement that it was resuming the public stoning and flogging of women, the UK Guardian reported.

Safia Arefi, who heads up Women’s Window of Hope, said the Taliban’s decision would return to the dark days of the Taliban’s rule when Afghan women were regularly publicly stoned to death.

Arefi said once again, Afghan women have no one to stand with them or save them from the Taliban. She blasted the international community for staying silent “in the face of these violations of women’s rights.”

Taliban supreme leader Hibatullah Akhundzada announced on March 23 that the Taliban would once again enforce Sharia law in Afghanistan, including bringing back public stoning and flogging of women who commit adultery.

Akhundzada said on the Taliban-run Radio Television Afghanistan that some may say that public stoning or flogging violated women’s rights but the Taliban would do so because it represented Allah rather than Satan.

Akhundzada’s announcement was the Taliban’s latest effort to push back against Western influences in Afghanistan. He argued that the takeover of Kabul was not the end of the Taliban’s work but just the beginning.

Women’s rights advocates were horrified but unsurprised by the supreme leader’s announcement as the Taliban has spent the last nearly three years slowly dismantling the rights and protections granted to Afghan women under the Western-endorsed government.

Human Rights Watch Afghan researcher Sahar Fetrat said two years ago, the Taliban lacked the courage to resume stoning women to death in public but “now they do.”

Fetrat said the group reintroduced its “draconian policies” one at a time and now because no one has held them accountable, they “have reached this point.”

After regaining power in August 2021, the Taliban dissolved the constitution Afghanistan established with the backing of the West and replaced the Western-backed criminal and penal codes with the Taliban’s fundamentalist version of Sharia law.

The Taliban also barred female judges and lawyers, many of whom worked for the former Western-backed Afghan government.

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