Afghan Women Are Vulnerable If the U.S. Returns Power to the Taliban
The U.S. government exploited the plight of Afghan girls and women and forgot its promises to help them
Explosions abound in Afghanistan this week as the Trump administration tries to wrap up negotiations and hand over power to the Taliban, the very same terrorist group the U.S. government vowed to wipe out at the start of America’s longest war back in 2001.
Hashed out over months of talks between the Trump administration and the Taliban, the still-unofficial agreement, is supposed to pave the way for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and lead to negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The talks were handled behind closed doors and with no women present in the room.
The fact that the United States has been, and is still trying to, hammer out a deal with the Taliban should have us all collectively freaking out. Instead, it is exposing our collective amnesia over anything related to this war, especially when it comes to what we promised Afghan women, who we vowed to rescue from the clutches of the Taliban.
I was recently reminded of just how much we have forgotten about our promises to Afghan women when I appeared on an all woman political analysis TV show. During the taping of a discussion on the recent loosenings of the Saudi male guardianship laws, the host of the show asked her guests whether respecting and upholding women’s rights should be prerequisites to U.S. foreign policy negotiations. I balked at the question, immediately bringing up the example of how we have all but abandoned Afghan women despite exploiting their plight to advance our own political agenda.
As soon as the words left my mouth, my fellow panelists, and even the host of the show, voiced their outrage. Not only did everyone think that what I said was untrue and false, but they appeared to be offended that I would even associate Afghan women’s rights with the U.S. war in Afghanistan. As the only Muslim woman on the panel, I was horrified with the gaslighting by the other panelists, who were all in agreement that the U.S. never promised Afghan women anything and they had nothing to do with the U.S. invading or staying in Afghanistan for the last…