At the end of this month of August, the last US troops will leave Afghanistan, with the exception of the detachments charged with evacuating, through the airport in Kabul, diplomatic personnel and thousands of Afghan collaborators who will be granted asylum in the United States. Spain is also organizing its small joint operation between the Defense, Interior and Foreign Ministries to evacuate 40 Afghans and their families who have helped Spanish troops who have been deployed there for several years and who are now exposed to certain revenge by the Taliban.
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“Afghans have to fight for themselves,” US President Joe Biden said a few days ago. And the Afghans? What will become of the women who, since 2001, with the invasion of US and NATO troops, have returned to schools and are now teachers, journalists, doctors, nurses, secretaries, police officers, councilors and congressmen? 25% of the current parliament in Kabul are women; over 100,000 are on local councils.
How will you defend yourself? How are they going to defend themselves against the proud and unhappy Afghan teenagers who appeared on the streets of Ghor province a few days ago, wielding old rifles and defying the imminent arrival of the Taliban? Are they the ones who will need to defeat an army that the entire United States has not been able to control? What will become of them all? Has anyone in the White House and the UN been sick when hearing that the Taliban’s commitment to these women is to “guarantee their rights according to Islam”? The Taliban is not Islam, but a political-religious ideology with an extraordinary component of oppression of women and there is overwhelming evidence of this.
British journalist Emma Graham Harrison’s reports to the The Guardian they are full of admiration for these resolute women, but they do not hide their panic at the coming tragedy. The demonstrations of strength and spirit of the teenagers and the mothers who tried to raise them in freedom are also demonstrations of their fear and despair at the abandonment in which they are left. The Taliban have not changed: they continue to regard women as inferior human beings who cannot claim and exercise the same rights as men. Journalists like Graham Harrison give testimony every day of what is happening in territories that are falling into their power: women are not allowed to go out into the street without the company of a male family member, they cannot attend public schools and general hospitals, they cannot work and must cover themselves completely (burka).
On August 10th, the The Guardian published an unsigned article, but written by a 22-year-old journalist: “Two days ago I ran away from my home in northern Afghanistan because of the arrival of the Taliban in my city… I keep on running and there is no safe place for me… Last week I was a journalist, today I can’t even say my name… I’m afraid and I don’t know what will happen to me… All my colleagues are terrified…, please pray for me”.
Perhaps, in addition to praying, we women all over the world can do something more, before the greatest shame falls upon us all. We already know that when the rights of women somewhere in the world are crushed, only one thing can be trusted: the strength, the fury of other women. Let us not allow what is about to happen. We are going to ask for asylum rights for Afghan women who are fleeing, thousands and tens of thousands. Let us support with money, with voluntary work, as we can, all the associations and organizations that can send help so that they can resist. We will demand of our deputies and ministers to organize and act. Let’s mobilize now, now, and with all the fury we’re capable of. Let’s not allow it.
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