On Anniversary of US Pullout from Afghanistan, Women Bear the Brunt of Taliban Rule

Aug 16, 2023

By the Numbers: Educating Girls

It's been two years since US armed forces withdrew from Afghanistan and gave way to strict Taliban rule once again. Since then, living standards in the country have gotten worse for millions of people. But no group has had more taken away from them than Afghan women.      

The US pulled several thousand troops from Afghanistan starting August 15, 2021. Since then, the Taliban has restored itself to power. It is an Islamic political group. Its leaders have put their version of Sharia law in place throughout the country. This has led to bans on anything they believe is foreign or secular. The nation's leaders have taken away most rights that women had gained during the 20 years US forces were there. 

The Taliban has banned women from higher education. It has also banned them from most jobs. Women cannot go into most public spaces without having a male join her. And women must be covered with clothing from head to toe to go out in public. They are also banned from working at non-governmental organizations. This has harmed the delivery of much needed aid within the country.    

The United Nations (UN) has called Afghanistan the most repressive country in the world for women and girls. The Taliban's rules "leave most women and girls effectively trapped in their homes,” the UN says. 

“Half of the country’s potential (skilled workers) are shut away in their homes,” a UN official said in a written statement.  

Reflect: How might a country be affected if a segment of its population is not allowed to work or seek education?

According to the infographic, a child of a mother who can read is 50% more likely to live past what age? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. 5
b. 20
c. 67
d. 12
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