A Disturbing Trend:

Afghan Women's Unequal War and Our Role

Afghan women are fighting an unequal war; they need our support.

In a recent news article published in the Guardian by Zahra Joya, an Afghan journalist, the spotlight is on the heart-wrenching challenges faced by Afghan women since the return of the Taliban. Published in The Guardian, Joya’s powerful narrative paints a vivid picture of the struggles endured by Afghan women and girls as they fight against an unjust system. In this blog, we’ll dive deeper into this story and explore the urgent need of Afghan women for international support.

The Painful Separation

Joya’s story begins with a piercing cry in the middle of the night in a small London room. It’s her teenage sister, sobbing, unable to sleep alone since the fall of Kabul. The pain of separation from their mother is palpable, and it’s a pain shared by thousands of Afghan families. Afghanistan’s fall was not just the fall of a nation but the separation of its people, a tragedy that continues to unfold.

The Harsh Realities of Exile

The return of the Taliban to Afghanistan has brought about distressing changes in the lives of countless Afghan women. Forced into exile, many now find themselves in foreign lands, grappling with cultures and languages vastly different from their own. While being away from their parents is challenging, some, like Joya and her sister, consider themselves fortunate to live in a safe and free country. However, millions of girls and women inside Afghanistan have been deprived of fundamental rights, with young girls forced into marriages and women excluded from public life.

The Toll of Migration

Migration comes at a cost, even though it offers new opportunities. The feeling of loneliness and the distance from family and friends are constant companions. As Joya reflects on her journey, she underscores the difficulties of living away from home and family, a reality many Afghan women face now.

The Shocking Gender Apartheid

The heart of the matter lies in how the Taliban established a gender apartheid system in plain view of the world. Millions of school-age girls are now deprived of education, universities are closed to women, and the opportunity to work has been stripped away from tens of thousands of women who were once breadwinners. Women’s access to healthcare is limited, and the burden of poverty and hunger is crushing.
Afghanistan’s women now struggle for basic rights, such as the freedom to leave their homes, attend schools, visit parks, and seek employment. Joya’s frustration is evident as she contemplates the insurmountable challenges facing her country’s women.

International Promises Broken

The international community had made promises, but these seem to have been forgotten. The peace deal between the US and the Taliban in Qatar has enabled the Taliban to implement their oppressive policies with impunity. Women have been left alone in their fight against the Taliban, with the vast majority of Afghan men silently supporting women’s education but not mobilizing against the Taliban’s oppressive rule.

The Forgotten Crisis

The situation has reached a point where the suffering of Afghan women goes largely unnoticed. The Taliban regime doesn’t see women’s issues as a national concern, and international human rights organizations issue statements and reports but don’t take meaningful action.
Joya and her team at Rukhshana Media have documented the pain of protesting women flogged by Taliban fighters and the tragic stories of policewomen who fought for gender equality but have now disappeared or been murdered.

A Plea for Support

Afghan women continue to resist and fight for their rights despite the ongoing challenges and dangers. They need the world’s support, just as the people of Ukraine need help in their battle against the Russian invasion.
As we witness crises and conflicts worldwide, we must not forget the plight of Afghan women. They are fighting an unequal war, and their voices must be heard. We must stand with them in their struggle for freedom and human rights.


Zahra Joya’s profoundly moving account sheds light on the heartbreaking challenges Afghan women and girls face in the wake of the Taliban’s return to power. Their fight for equality is a fight for basic human rights, and it’s a fight that requires international support and attention. Let us not turn a blind eye to their struggle and stand with them in their pursuit of a brighter future instead.

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