101 East

The War On Afghan Women

As the Taliban and US negotiate a peace deal, Afghan women fear their rights and freedoms will be traded for stability.

“If they captured us, they’d kill us.”

Laila Haidari drives a car, does not wear a headscarf and likes to meet her friends at a bowling alley.

For that, she fears, the Taliban could kill her.

101 East investigates fears that Afghanistan‘s women could again fall victim to the Taliban’s brutal rule.

With the United States’s longest war costing more than a trillion dollars and the lives of more than 3,500 coalition soldiers, the US is desperate to bring its troops home.

Now, a peace deal could end with a power-sharing agreement with the Taliban, a regime that denied women basic rights and publicly executed them for defying their draconian laws.

“The Americans introduced democracy, human rights, women’s rights to us, and encouraged us to defend them. But they’re telling us that now the Taliban is legit,” says Laila, an outspoken advocate who runs a drug rehab centre. “Was all this talk of human rights, women’s rights, democracy – was it just a game?”

Those with first-hand experience of the Taliban say it is a matter of life and death.

A young woman who recently fled an area controlled by the fighters describes how she was forced to marry at the age of 12; her husband beat her and her father-in-law demanded sex.

She is now in hiding, but the Taliban is demanding that she return.

“If I go back, they’ll kill me. If I don’t, they’ll kill my family,” she says.

101 East investigates whether women will pay the price for peace in Afghanistan.

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