Radio presenter Maz Hakim recently shared a photo on Instagram that shows Afghan children in school uniform, detailing in her caption that they had turned up there even though their school had been closed due to security issues. She added that all teachers of the school bid goodbye to their female students because they would not be allowed to go to school anymore. “A photo of a school closed due to security issues. The students showed up anyway. All teachers said goodbye to their female students who won’t be allowed to go to school anymore. A numbing helpless feeling,” Hakim captioned the photo.
Instagram users were heartbroken in the comments, with one of them writing, “I can’t imagine how you, your kin and fellow citizens of your beloved country must be feeling – on the verge of heightened terror and devastation once more. It is equally heart wrenching and infuriating! Afghanistan deserves peace and safety. May it remind us to step up and defend those who cannot themselves.”
On Twitter, too, many users expressed their grief over the photo.
💔 we don't know What is our fate now where will we go and what will we do
— Monir (@monir_ap) August 16, 2021
I am gutted 💔kids showing up for school. Even though it’s closed. Teachers saying goodbye to the young girls who likely won’t be able to return. This is what we leave behind. The undoing of 20 years of progress, overnight. May they all be safe #Afghanistan pic.twitter.com/9xbK3tAItC
— Azita Ghanizada (@AzitaGhanizada) August 16, 2021
Hakim also shared a video on Instagram showing the chaos at Kabul airport. “I’ve watched many movies with scenes like this, but sadly this wasn’t a movie. This was Kabul airport’s chaos last night. No pilots, no security. Thousands on the tarmac at the airport jumping on the planes. Planes that hold 300, had over 1000 on there. My heart breaks for the children who are stuck in this mess,” she wrote in the caption.
As the Taliban plan to take over the entire country, fears and concerns mount over safety and rights of women. According to reports, the Taliban has adopted a more hard-lined approach in the newly captured areas even as they claim commitment to provide women their rights.
Reports suggest that the Taliban are going back to their retrograde policies, followed during their rule between 1996 and 2001, in the areas captured now.
The Taliban, in recent years, have said they are committed to providing women their rights and allowing them to work and attend school, provided they do not flout Islamic or Afghan values. However, the Taliban also said they want to limit the freedom gained in recent years by women, which has promoted “immorality” and “indecency”. The Taliban had in its five years of rule prohibited women from attending school or leaving home without a male relative. Women, who disobeyed were sometimes killed, Sher Jan Ahmadzai wrote in Asia Times. During the previous rule, the women were required to cover their bodies and faces in a burqa and those accused of adultery were stoned to death in stadiums. Women were also publicly shamed and beaten if found breaching the rules. The militants also monitored teachers and their relationships with their aid groups, The Washington Post quoted an educator who had taught under the Taliban rule as saying. However, then they were less coercive.