To war against women: – I broke down

THE ESCAPE: Marzia (21) ran a secret school for Hazara girls in Kabul. Now she has had to flee. VG met her last autumn. Photo: Kyrre Lien / VG

The Taliban are tightening their grip on women’s rights in Afghanistan. In an interview with VG, a female activist explains why she had to flee the country.


Less than 10 minutes ago

  • The Taliban has gone to war against women’s rights in Afghanistan, according to Amnesty’s new report “The Taliban’s War on Women”.
  • Marzia (21), a female activist, ran a secret girls’ school in Afghanistan before she had to flee to Iran due to threats from the Taliban.
  • The Taliban has banned young girls from going to school and women experience increased oppression.
  • Amnesty and the International Court of Justice (ICJ) believe that the Taliban’s behavior against women can be defined as crimes against humanity.
  • The Norwegian authorities will allow Afghan women to receive asylum by being defined as a “special social group”.

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– Now I am no longer a brave Afghan woman. I am a helpless refugee.

There is little hope for the future with the Afghan woman Marzia (21), whom VG writes about.

For over a year, she ran a secret girls’ school in Kabul, where young girls received an education. Then she was driven to flee the land she knew.

The West’s – and Norway’s – 20-year invasion of Afghanistan brought death, suffering and destruction.

But for many, and especially women in Kabul, life also improved.

They received an education, could move more freely and were given the opportunity to work.

But after the Taliban spectacularly managed to regain power in the country in 2021, women’s rights have only gone downhill.

Amnesty is clear in its new report they are launching today. The title is the Taliban’s war on women.

SHARIA: It is the conservative men of the Taliban who have now taken power in the country. Photo: Kyrre Lien / VG

Last autumn VG met Marzia in Kabul. Then she ran a life-threatening operation hidden from the Taliban’s soldiers, behind curtains in hidden premises she taught young girls and women.

The Taliban were still looking for her.

Because the extreme Islamist organization has made it forbidden for young girls to go to school.

Last year she was beaten up on the way home from school. Since then she was arrested twice by the Taliban, she says. All because she had a burning desire to give young girls an education.

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The women’s fight

They are denied education, work and freedom. But the women in Afghanistan do not give up.

– I and other girls in this country have been sentenced to death.

She opened more and more schools in Kabul, but eventually the Taliban had enough.

– They found my home one month ago. I broke down, and had to leave my dreams and my country.

She is now on the run in neighboring Iran, and the future of the schools hangs in the balance.

– The schools are still open, but the Taliban want to close them now that they cannot arrest me.

FEAR: Here, Marzia teaches at a secret girls’ school in Kabul. Now she has been forced to flee Afghanistan. Photo: Kyrre Lien / VG

Crimes against humanity

Amnesty’s new report paints a gloomy picture.

The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has waged an oppressive war against women and girls, which has resulted in a serious decline in their rights.

The promise of respect that the Taliban made at the start of their rise to power has been replaced by stricter restrictions that limit women’s freedom of movement, education and employment opportunities.

Any form of resistance to this is met with violence and threats.

Amnesty has collaborated with the International Court of Justice (ICJ). They conclude that the Taliban’s brutal behavior against women can be defined as crimes against humanity.

Since the Taliban took power, the entire international community has reacted strongly to what is in reality a ban on women.

CRISIS: Poverty continues to increase, while the work of aid organizations in the country is becoming increasingly difficult. Here Muzhgan (26) begs along the road outside Kabul. Photo: Kyrre Lien / VG

Asylum for women, not embassy staff

There are many Afghans with connections to Norway who believe they have been abandoned by the Norwegian authorities.

VG has previously written about how dozens of former embassy employees at the Norwegian embassy in Kabul fear for their lives. These were not evacuated when Afghanistan fell, and have not been granted asylum by the Norwegian authorities.

At the same time, there are others who will be able to slip through the eye of the needle.

Earlier in May, news came from the Ministry of Justice that they will allow Afghan women to be granted asylum in Norway by defining them as “a special social group”.

In March, Minister of Justice Emilie Enger Mehl (Sp) said no to the proposal from the UDI, but now the government is turning around in this particular case.


Published: 25/05/23 at 23:10

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The article is in Norwegian

Tags: war women broke


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