Afganistans Apartheid Essay Research Paper Beginning on

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Afganistan`s Apartheid Essay, Research Paper Beginning on September 27, 1996, an extremist militia group known as the Taliban seized control of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Upon seizing control, the Taliban has instituted a system of gender apartheid, which has placed women into a state of virtual house arrest. Since that time the women and girls of Afghanistan have been stripped of all human rights including their voice, visibility and their mobility. The Campaign to stop Gender Apartheid, led by the Feminist Majority Foundation, has brought together numerous human right and women?s organizations around the world to demand an end to the abuses of the women in Afghanistan. In the 1980?s when the Soviet Union occupied Afghanistan, the United States gave billions of

dollars, through a secret CIA operation, to revolutionary militia forces called the mujahideen (soldiers of God). Unfortunately, in 1989 when the Soviet Union pulled out, groups of the mujahideen entered into a civil war and in 1996 the Taliban emerged as the controlling force. The Taliban is actually made up of young men and boys who were raised in refugee camps and trained in ultraconservative religious schools in Pakistan. The primary support system of the Taliban is from Pakistan, they provide military aid and personnel, Saudi Arabia provides the financial support. In addition, Afghanistan is one of the world?s two largest producers of opium, which in turn makes it a huge drug-processing center. Finally, the biggest potential for financial support comes from the wealth of the

petroleum industry. The Taliban claim to follow a pure, fundamental Islamic ideology, except the oppression they place upon women has no foundation in Islam. Within Islam, women can earn, control and spend their own money; they can also participate in public life. Both the Organizations of the Islamic Conference and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt have refused to recognize the Taliban as an official government in Afghanistan. Prior to the Taliban seizing control, women led very different lives. Many were educated and employed, 60% of the teachers at Kabul University were women as were 50% of the students. 70% of schoolteachers, 50% of civilian government workers and 40% of doctors were all women. Just recently, a United Nations Reporter, Radhika Coomaraswami, voiced her shock of

the violations she found in Afghanistan. She reported, ? widespread, systematic violation of Taliban areas of Afghanistan.? She said she had never seen as much suffering as she witnessed in Afghanistan. Since the Taliban militia took control, women have been forced to beg on the streets to simply feed their children because only a tiny percentage of women are allowed to work. Girls have been banned from attending school after the age of eight and women can not leave their homes unless accompanied by a close male relative. If and when a woman does leave, she must be covered from head to toe with only a small opening to see and breath through. Medical access is extremely limited because male doctors cannot treat women and there are very few female physicians. Finally, the Taliban

has required women to paint their windows opaque so that the women inside cannot be seen from the street. These rules are forcing women to lead a life worse than the depths of hell. There are many severe and even deadly consequences for disobeying the Taliban?s rules. An elderly woman was critically beaten with a metal cable until her leg was broken because her ankle was accidentally showing. A woman caught trying to flee Afghanistan was stoned to death because the man she was with was not a relative. Many women have died of treatable illnesses because there was no doctor who would treat them. A high number of women, have attempted suicide by swallowing household cleaner rather than continuing to live under these appalling and ghastly circumstances. Ninety-seven percent of women