A journalist recalled the agony of Afghan women at the hands of the Taliban in a touching report, as their lives have now undergone a 180-degree reversal.
According to Hollie McKay of The Dallas Morning News, following the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul last week, the Taliban have been visiting house-to-house in the country looking for women and girls over the age of 15 for marriage.
McKay stated that while she was able to escape Mazar-e-Sharif, her Afghan friends who remain are seized by the terror of the unknown.
“I reflected about how hard women had battled for their liberties in this nation, just to have them snatched away with the click of an insurgency finger,” McKay told The Dallas Morning News.
McKay wrote about a 14-year-old girl she met earlier that week in a displacement hub on the outskirts of Kabul. The girl had fled Kunduz because of the violence, and all she wanted was an education and the chance to one day become a doctor.
She also wrote of Fariha Easer, an Afghan woman she met many years before. Fariha, who used to be the voice of oppressed Afghan women and toured the turbulent country to bring Afghan women’s experiences to light and be a powerful force for change, was shattered into a million pieces after the Taliban took over.
“My friends on the outside are pleading with me to leave my country,” Fariha explained. “How can I when my sisters are in pain?” asked The Dallas Morning News.
“But pain and obscurity aren’t the only things these fearless activists are afraid of. She informed me that the Taliban has been going house to home looking for women and girls over the age of 15 for marriage. Insurgents arrived on the doorstep of her friend’s home in Badakhshan, which fell to the organization many months ago, asking for young brides about a month ago. Fariha informed me about a story she had heard from a friend “McKay stated.
“They were saying they are the saviours, the guardians of Islam, the liberators of the West,” Fariha remarked, her voice little but firm. “They requested that one parent give up his daughters as spouses. They said that one of the Taliban is a mullah and that they must arrange a marriage for him.”
The request, as told to Fariha, was only rhetorical. There was no other option. The unmarried 21-year-old was kidnapped in the middle of the night.
“They carried the young woman away after the marriage. However, after three days, the father discovered that it was not just the Taliban who had married her and had sex with her, but she was also being raped by four other men every night “Fariha told the account.
“When the father approached the district governor, he was informed there was nothing he could do. Whatever needed to be done, he must do it himself.”
According to McKay, the father ran into hiding with all of his daughters, providing a sliver of hope in the midst of a tragic event.
The danger of being forcibly married to the Taliban now haunts millions of Afghan girls and women; the security blanket once offered by NATO presence has been ripped away, according to The Dallas Morning News.
“There has been no change. They [the Taliban] are attempting to claim that their behaviour has changed, but it has not “Fariha said softly, her voice quivering. “They haven’t changed, and they’re not going to change. They are distinguished by violence, murder, and blatant violations of human rights.”
“In my own experience, I witnessed the busy northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif, which was teeming with women, quickly turn into a ghost town. The few ladies who did emerge into the sunlight were shrouded in blue burqas and could not be seen or heard “McKay stated.