AfghanistanSpecial ReportsWomen & Human Rights

Social constraints; the shattered potential of “Sadat girls”

Sayed Abdul Raqib Fayyaz

Bayan News – Women and girls in Afghanistan, who have been actively involved in educational, academic, and various economic and social sectors over the past twenty years, serving nearly half of Afghanistan’s population, have suddenly been deprived of these opportunities in the past two years. The strict policies of the Islamic Emirate towards women and girls, which were unexpected, have shocked both domestic and international institutions.

The continuation of the current policies of the Islamic Emirate, including educational and employment prohibitions, has severely affected women and girls mentally and emotionally, and it seems challenging to compensate for these damages in the distant future.

The authorities of the Islamic Emirate have consistently argued in their statements that everything was against Islamic law in the past twenty years, and now with these prohibitions, they are trying to rectify the practices that were contrary to religious values and principles. In fact, this argument has not been convincing for a part of the Afghan people and domestic and international institutions.

In this report, we turn to women who envisioned their future through academic pursuits, aiming to become specialists in their fields, and eagerly offering valuable services to their communities through education and social activities.

Rahel Alawi (pseudonym), a role model for education, had achieved excellent grades and pursued medical studies while simultaneously working in a pharmacy in Mazar-i-Sharif city. However, with the emergence of recent developments, she has been forced to abandon her education and give up her responsibilities due to the fear of restrictions.

Ms. Alawi says that pursuing education was a source of hope for her family and a bright future she had envisioned for herself, while also financially supporting her family by working in a pharmacy. She had ambitious aspirations to serve her community through specialized education and social activities. However, these dreams have been shattered, and there is no longer any enthusiasm left. A shadow of uncertainty and a bleak future has engulfed educated women and girls.

She believes that there are still opportunities for the growth and advancement of Afghan girls in the world of electronics and online education. They are motivated to achieve their goals through online platforms, but it requires relevant faces and institutions to provide basic facilities.

According to Ms. Alawi, various groups of girls, especially Sayed girls, have talents and capabilities that can continue to have a positive impact on their people and society through creative initiatives in economic and educational sectors.

Similarly, Sughra Sayed states that the current social constraints have had a devastating psychological and emotional impact on women and girls, completely eradicating their hopes and aspirations. She explains that due to the current social situation, economic difficulties, and lack of employment opportunities, she has fallen into depression, and it is uncertain how long this situation will persist.

Sughra Sayed has graduated from the Journalism Faculty of Kabul University and is also a mother of a daughter. She hopes that as her daughter grows up, the social conditions in Afghanistan will change, allowing her to be part of educational progress.

After graduating from Kabul University, Ms. Sayed intended to inform her people as a journalist through the country’s media, but with the developments of the past two years, the media collapsed, and she was deprived of job opportunities and means of information dissemination.

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