Blog by Raakhi Shah, CEO The Circle
The situation in Afghanistan has been laid bare by the harrowing images and stories filling our newsfeeds. Take a moment to pause. This could be you. You could easily be the mother, daughter, son, father whose world has turned upside down overnight, the fear not leaving your side for a moment.
I have worked on international crises for over 16 years, but the impact never fails to hit the core of me. For the women and girls in Afghanistan, the return of real, unimaginable horror is haunting them again.
Under previous Taliban rule, women were banned from education, employment, and political life. They suffered under extreme and oppressive laws. Women only allowed to leave their homes with a male chaperone. Forced to completely cover their skin in public, and wear burqas at all times. Women faced horrific violence, were not allowed to work, and girls were denied an education. As the Taliban regain control in Afghanistan, women and girls are once again facing a repressive regime; one that could drastically turn the clock back on their education, opportunities, freedoms, and shatter their lives.
Devastating reports show women being sent home from their jobs, forced to leave university and education at gunpoint. A university student has written in The Guardian – “Now I have to burn everything I achieved”, of terrifying scenes in Kabul as women hide in their homes in fear. Female students unable to use public transport as drivers are too scared of Taliban reprisals to be seen helping them. It is clear that Afghan women and girl’s safety, and liberty, are under great threat.
We are calling for the UK government, and others, to provide safe passage and humanitarian aid to the women and girls fleeing Afghanistan.
The Circle is a long-standing charitable organisation supporting the most vulnerable women and girls across the world. We are a growing movement of women and allies who advocate for structural change and provide partnership support to grassroots organisations. We are global feminists.
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