Why Afghan Women Fear a Peace Deal with the Taliban | The Dispatch

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[sounds of film crew setting up] “Yes, yes, yes. Good, good. O.K.” “Yes.” This is Farahnaz Forotan. “She’s writing. And then, she’s talking, O.K.?” A young Afghan journalist
living in Kabul. “Yes.” “Yes, yes. This is beautiful. This is beautiful.” I meet her while she’s
directing a campaign called The Red Line. She’s pushing women
to take a stand, and declare what they
refuse to sacrifice if the Taliban regains power — before it’s too late. “I was curious what your
personal fears are.” I follow Farahnaz from
neighborhood to neighborhood as she meets women
in their homes or offices, any place they’re
willing to talk. “Light’s not O.K.” A young woman directing
a team of men. Farahnaz isn’t exactly the
traditional Afghan woman, but she’s not a total
exception either. When the Americans ousted
the Taliban in 2001, they triggered a revolution
for the country’s women. “O.K., guys. Good morning, class.” “Good morning, teacher.” Girls went to school
for the first time in years. “What do you want to study
after English? At university?” “I want to do journalism.” “A journalist?” “Yes.” “Really? Oh, we should talk.” Since then, millions
of women have pursued careers,
broken taboos and emerged as a
visible force in public life. But all of the progress
could be reversed. Now, the Americans
are negotiating to leave the country
altogether, and bring the Taliban back
into the government. At risk? All the hard-won rights
women have gained over the last 18 years. So I’m here to ask women if they trust that a deal
for peace won’t cost them their freedom. This is Shamila. She’s intimately familiar
with the ways of the Taliban, because she’s married
to one of its members. He beat her regularly,
until she left him. Now, she’s a police
officer in Kabul. I want to know what she would
do if the Taliban returns to power. “Shamila, do you have thoughts
of leaving the country?” At work, Shamila regularly
handles domestic violence cases. It’s a reminder that this
country, despite its changes, remains deeply patriarchal. She’s flooded with
calls for help from women who are
being beaten and abused. The majority of women
here are already treated like second-class citizens. In the current negotiations,
the Taliban is promising to protect their rights, but it’s hard to see how,
unless their views on women have transformed. I visit Maulvi Qalamuddin,
once one of the most feared men in the country. In the ’90s, he headed the
Taliban’s religious police. They were responsible
for things like flogging women if their
burqas were not long enough to cover their ankles,
and seizing and destroying people’s televisions. In some ways, he’s
changed with the times. But when it comes
to women, he refuses to acknowledge how the
Taliban abused them in the first place. “What was the punishment
for a woman going out in public without the hijab?” “So you believe that life for
women, under the Taliban, in the ’90s was just?” He’s saying that he
respects women’s rights, as defined by his
version of Islam, which is precisely why it’s hard to
trust the Taliban when they promise to protect women. Take Zainab Fayez. She was the only female
prosecutor in Kandahar until a few weeks ago,
when the Taliban sent her a death threat wrapped
around a bullet. She fled. I meet her in Kabul on her
way to the attorney general to plead for protection so
that she can keep working. Later, we sit down at
her relative’s house, where she’s taking refuge. “What do you think when you
see the Taliban negotiating right now to be part of
the government again?” But when I press
her on whether she plans to go back to work — “Do you think you’ll
return to Kandahar?” — she ends the
interview abruptly. “She’s not feeling well.” “Yeah. O.K. Yeah.” It is something I see
again and again. Even with the Taliban
out of the government, some of the most courageous
women in the country are afraid to share
their full stories. And they have good reason. The truth may cost
them their lives. But for other women
in Afghanistan, the fight for their
rights takes a backseat to their struggle
for survival. I traveled to the conservative
south near Kandahar, where everyday
life is disrupted by constant fighting. Payendu is living in this
makeshift camp with her three children. She told me a coalition
airstrike destroyed her home after the Taliban forcefully
took refuge there. The attack killed her husband and at least four other
family members. Women’s rights are a
faraway abstraction here. Would you be willing to live
under the Taliban again, if it meant peace
for your family? What Payendu and
others like her want is security, money and
more than anything, peace, from whoever
can provide it.


  1. Theres no functioning body of government. How can women of that region expect a movement to politically change the standard narrative?

    – Truth

  2. The world needs to figure out a way to encourage peace and human rights without the use of the military.

  3. There is no point fighting this wara anymore.The us lost.Why dont they just leave Afghanistan alone and let there be peace for atleast a little moment.

  4. You can't help country as a whole – it goes its way, but you can always help – and sometimes Must – the one. The Whole starts with One.

  5. they are not representative of afgan women but rather western propaganda …………..taliban will protect them from being used in hand of west against islam

  6. This story reminds me of the old Muslim saying:

    Fool me once, shame on jew. Fool me twice, also shame on you jew.

  7. So let me get this straight.  
    These women are vying for equality while at the same time endorsing a religion and ideology that specifically calls for them to be treated in a myriad of unequal and negative ways. Yet the foundational reason that drives the abhorrent behavior fails to get honest and forthright scrutiny from all parties involved.
    Meanwhile, Allah continues to remain unavailable for comment.
    May 'god' b-less.

  8. Hi's version of quran
    You are more fking stupid than I thought. Check again, how many Muslims want sharia.

  9. ??? The Taliban are a joke. The United States should never leave the country and the Taliban should never be put into the political landscape.

  10. Isn’t it interesting that men always justify their treatment of women by referring to a book written by men? Wake up people…!

  11. That female police officer- one bad b!tch! Imagine how seeing a woman in a position of such authority, ARMED even, must shrivel the d***s of taliban men. I hope she can take a few out before they take the life she has made from her. Because we will leave, and “peace” will come to Afghanistan. The US will leave. And Trump doesn’t care at all about us, his own country…. he is from a time and place that sees people in that part of the world as little better than animals, and women who Trump doesn’t deem f***able aren’t even worth thinking about to him. To him, all that matters is what something or someone looks like. Its why he’s so fond of interior decorating and objectifying his own daughter.

  12. I always cringe whenever the west preach about protecting women, (which is really a pretext to initiate war or continue it, if we are to be honest with ourselves) I think of the 1.5 million Iraqis killed by American sanctions 500,000 of which were children probably an equal amount were also women. No justice for any of them.

  13. CNN debe ver lo q esta Ocurriendo en Puerto Rico hoy 15 de julio 2019 esto lleva ya tres dias y las vidas aqui estan en peligro como la del Gobernador q apesar de su falta de respeto el pueblo al parecer lo quiere muerto (Rieguen la Voz) Puerto Rico necesita Ayuda

  14. "What Payendu and others like her want is security. money, and more than anything, peace; from whoever can provide it." I think this just about applies to anywhere in the world. Ideology comes second to quality of life.

  15. Well the i.s also training their women to fight.. My heart is breaking on this issue, i cant imagine my sister or my mother hold a gun ever. Women vs. Women, its hard. But this is the world now. At times like this i cant rely on other people to stop the war. I just secretly call god to help this women to finish the job and ended the war

  16. What was the point of invading Afghanistan, dropping that MOAB under the premise of fighting the Taliban – who took responsibility for 911 – only to hand the country back to the Taliban and leave?

  17. You don't have to be pro west to empathize with Afghan women's right to rule themselves. I hope the best for these girls.

  18. I have yet to see one nyt article/video where they pushed for peace, we have to stay for another 20 years to protect the afgan women baby if you asked these women they will tell you to get out Afghanistan is not your base for Iran invasion.


  20. These Taliban keep calling the government puppets but fail to mention they work for p a k i s t a n and are the OG puppets in Afg. They are killing Afghans for south asian foreigners and are criminal stain on Afghan people. They have no place in Afg or being given any rights as they do not represent anything but the criminal goals of a foreign state against Afghan people and the US who is giving them a voice knows it. The Taliban along with the Indian and p a k i s t a n i foreigners all need to be forced out of Afg if the Afghan people are to know any peace. Let the south asians go continue their sibling rivalry in Kashmir, their war has nothing to do with the Afghan people.

  21. kalian bisa merubah pandangan kami atau pun opini kami. tapi kalian tidak bisa merubah keyakinan dan hati kami. you 8 15 25 =?

  22. Hi all, I traveled across Afghanistan to ask women from different regions about their thoughts on the prospect of a peace deal with the Taliban. We wanted to know: After 18 years of hard-won gains, do they fear losing their freedom? Thank you so much for your questions so far. Feel free to ask me about what we learned.

  23. So how many afghan women are here living under the pro west regime? Lets see ur likes and confirm if u even have access to the internet ladies

  24. Same mistake they made in Vietnam. Send huge amount of army, destroy the local economy, install a idealistic govern system which is too much to handle for undeveloped country and abandon them in the middle of reforming. How irresponsible.

  25. The ground reality is what the last woman said, that vast majority demands peace as first choice….whereas among women rest, most are rich, who will flee and take refuge to US or Europe, they will initiate the conflict and common humans will die of NATO airstrikes

  26. When Taliban comes all these ladies will either be killed or forced into marriages with taliban commanders if they don't flee that is

  27. The women should live in America if they want to live a degenerate lifestyle Afghanistan is a Muslim country where the majority support the Taliban and Islam

  28. Aryana or today's Afghanistan was once the birthplace of civilization and known of their wise and fearless female warriors. In all the over 8.000 years of history in Afghanistan we had never any problems with other thinking people. Surely because Afghanistan as the center of Asia was always a home to many different people with different believings.

    It were hyenas like usa and england who get pakistani, arab and Chechen men with no perspective and trains them in Terrorism Trainings Centers in Pakistan and create terrorists to make war in Countries like Afghanistan and Iraq to exploit them. Its just a very very hypocritical and dirty politic.

  29. more worster and violence report you can find in afg. but seeing them you can't endure the pain in your heart. these idoit and stupid which is torrist (taliban) who don't know nothing the rights and humanity will be end up with hight pubishment and their name never call as taliban. they are exaclty the real torrist but unfortulty usa and afg and pk, europe, other asian country call them taliban(torrist).

  30. That's why India never supported Taliban unlike US, Pakistan & China did. That's the reason India had been kept out of these so called talks. India wants Afghanistan led Government for their people. No where in the world Terrorist Organizations are asked to run a country but apparently US wants that. Hypocrisy of US knows no bounds.

  31. Once Afghanistan was a proud modern country with developed education system and a vibrant middle class. Things turned worst for the Afghans as the country caught in the middle of cold war and became a Waterloo…

  32. It really baffles me how these “former” Taliban members can walk freely in Kabul where they once executed women in the football stadium. They should all be hanged and shot one by one.

  33. This is not a peace deal with the Taliban it’s with Pakistan. Pakistan has been our biggest enemy in the past 40 years. But don’t worry, Pakistan is turning into a failed state they have no money to fund their army or feed their people. That’s why their getting loans from imf and world bank to just pay the bills. They have no water it all comes from India and Afghanistan. Every neighbour if Pakistan is sick of them. That should tell you something.

  34. According to George W, we went to war so that little girls could go to school. The NYT was all for it. I guess the NYT wants the war to continue so those girls, now grown up, can live the dream. Guess what? The vast majority of women in Muslim countries are good with their lot. Why not interview some of the 90 percent?

  35. Americans always abandon their allies. Look what happened to South Vietnamese people when America abandoned them. You cannot trust American politicians.

  36. Americans are the least trustworthy allies. As is their country's history, so is their memory.
    The Americans have no friends and no foes. They just have their interests according to which the entire world should surrender to, or else they rain down Freedom Bombs.
    Having a massive enemy is far better than having America as your friend, as you would never know when America stabs you in the back.

    The Americans are so brutal and callous that they are willing to shake hands with the monsters that slaughtered their own young men and women in uniforms, just to attain some tunnel visioned interest.

    No wonder the Americans don't win any wars. They make huge profits on dead bodies, both off of Americans and non-Americans.

  37. Your calture have no women right your culture disgrace women in your religion women should be covered but your women walking nude

  38. This exact freedom was given by soviet .. you in West made Taliban . Now again you are pushing this nation to warlords aka war dogs .. The mentor would be the rabid Pakistan !!!!!!

  39. the last woman truly addressed my concerns

    if the US withdraws from afghanistan and taliban coming back into power means peace and stability

    then it is a far better option. the US airstrikes in afghanistan has been hurting the country and killing many civilians. US airstrikes has killed people at weddings and bombed schools and hospitals

    her house was destroyed by a US airstrike. the US government needs to end it's perpetual war in afghanistan and call it a day before more civilians get killed by drone strikes.

    US should also halt the drone strikes in all middle eastern countries. american war machine needs to die

  40. All the orthodox muslim women in Western countries should watch this, especially the converts. This is what you get.

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