27 Aug Afghanistan Forced Marriage by the Taliban: And the Danger it Inflicted Towards Women Above the Age of 15
The victim of forced marriage are mostly women, who’s freedom of love has been stripped completely. This practice can be found in countries within Middle East and African region. It is a problem that can affect the mental and possibly physical health of unfortunate woman which stuck on this path, as they are not ready for marriage. Now that an islam extremist organization called the Taliban has managed to take over Afghanistan, one of their next step is to practice forced marriage which put Afghan woman in danger.
Taliban and the State’s Takeover
Taliban has been established for a long time actually, it was established in 1994 by former Afghan resistance fighters, known as “Mujahedeen”, who fought the invading Soviet forces in the 1980s. Now, the purpose of Taliban is to impose their interpretation of Islamic law on the country and remove any foreign influence. In 1996, the Taliban capture Kabul, and impose strict rules. Women had to wear head-to-toe coverings, weren’t allowed to study or work and were forbidden from traveling alone. TV, music and non-Islamic holidays were also banned.
After the attack of September 11, the US took the Taliban more seriously and launch an invasion to Afghanistan. The invasion were meant to stop the Taliban from providing a safe place for al-Qaeda and to stop both of them to use Afghanistan as a base of operations for terrorist activities. Until in 2017, the Taliban issued an open letter to the newly elected US President Donald Trump, calling on him to withdraw US forces from Afghanistan, and after 3 years of negotiations, both parties sign a peace deal.
The US agreed to withdraw troops and release some 5,000 Taliban prisoners, while the Taliban agreed to take steps to prevent any group or individual, from using Afghanistan to threaten the security of the US or its allies, and as we see, one of them did not keep their promises. Taliban army which ranged from 58,000-100,000 personnel, managed to defeat 308,000 personnel of Afghan forces (soldiers and police) who’s trained and equipped with modern equipment by the US, and later reclaim the authority of Afghanistan.
Forced Marriage by the Taliban
After seizing power from the government, the Taliban have claimed to be committed to the peace process which has been agreed upon the deal, an inclusive government and willing to maintain some women’s right such as education from primary to higher education. However, current report of forced marriage in Afghanistan done by the Taliban has proven the disobidienct act. Forced marriage is when one or more of the parties is married without their consent or against their will, Afgan women are about to experience this practice.
The Taliban is visiting residents from home to home, looking for women and girls over 15 for marriage, forced marriage. Afghan women are frozen by the fear of the unknown that awaits them, extremist group approaching and entangling them with forced marriage. Hollie McKay, a journalist writing for The Dallas Morning News has informed by an Afgan woman just how terrible the forced marriage was. A Taliban asked one father to give over his daughters as wives, the request however, was a rhetorical one, there is no choice to decline.
The 21-year-old was taken away from her father in the dead of night, arranged for a forced marriage. The marriage then turn to the worst, as the father found out after three days, that not only the Taliban that married his daughter had intercourse with her, but also letting four other Talibans to rape her almost every night. This example prove just how despicable their practice of forced marriage is, and don’t forget that the Talibans were searching for more young brides from door to door with absolutely no option to refuse.
Speaking of gender-based violation, you can read: Unveiling The Truth of Gender-Based Violence in The COVID-19 Pandemic
An Afghan women is interviewed by McKay, and she stated “They have not changed, and they will not change. They are defined by violence, killing, by a constant violating of human rights”, and this awful practice of forced marriage is one example why she could not be wrong. The Taliban spokeperson Suhail Shaheen, shamelessly deny the claims about forced marriaged commited by Taliban soldiers, calling the accusation as baseless and accused the Afghanistan government of running a “poisonous propaganda” against the Taliban.
Afgan women who’s afraid of being captured and entangled in a forced marriage by the Taliban now are trying their best to hide or even seek refugees to neighboring countries. For example, woman like Freshta Hosseini, a women’s rights activist and Sawsan Azizi, a recent law school graduate have sought safety in the neighboring country Tajikistan. As both women escape, they fear for the future of their home country and the women who live there. Perhaps, we should also be afraid of what’s to come for gender equality as this horrible practice happens.