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Women in Afghanistan . (Guardian News and Media). Kara McNamee. History of the Role of Women.

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Women in afghanistan

Women in Afghanistan

(Guardian News and Media)

Kara McNamee

History of the role of women
History of the Role of Women

Under the rule of the Taliban (1994) women were treated poorly and had restricted rights. Some restrictions included not being allowed to work, not being able to receive an education, or not being able to be seen in public with someone other then a relative. Women's access to medical help had decreased as well as the safety of leaving their own home alone. Under the Taliban women lost self pride and the opportunity to show power in any form. (Women and Girls of Afghan.)

(Hazara Asylum Seekers)

Role of women today
Role of Women Today

After the fall of the Taliban, the restrictions were lifted and women began to be treated as more of an equal. Women now hold a stronger reputation and function more as an individual then in the past. Rights have been slowly given to them and currently there are plenty of Afghanistan women running for office, creating their own businesses, and simply becoming more involved in society. (The Women of Afghanistan)



Treatment of women
Treatment of Women

Even with the decrease of harsh Taliban rule, some women today in Afghanistan still struggle to find their say and equality.

  • Only 12% of women 15 years and older can read and right (compared to 39 for men)

  • Approx. 60-80% of women face force marriages

  • 30% of incidents reported against woman were related to physical violence

  • Only 47% of working age women are in the labor department and do not receive the same pay as the men in Afghanistan

  • Only 18% of college students are women (Afghanistan Crossroads)


Rights of women
Rights of Women

  • August 1st 1921= The banning of child marriage and judicial permission for polygamy (multiple wives)

  • April 9th 1923= Afghanistan created their first constitution allowing secular education

  • Oct. 1st 1924= Women are granted the right to choose their husband

  • Nov. 8th 1959= The end of state-enforced veiling (coverings forced to wear by women)

  • Oct. 1st 1964= Women are given the right to freedom of speech, free elections, and may join politics (Women War and Peace)


Rights cont
Rights Cont.

  • Oct. 1st 1978= received required education, and set the legal age for marriage-16

  • January 1st= A new constitution is written giving equal rights for men and women (Women War and Peace)

“Equal rights and human rights!”

(Afghan Women Protest Law)


In history, as well today women have many restrictions that were stated during the Taliban. Although some rules were lifted, many still continue on today.

  • Only a few female doctors and nurses are allowed to work in some of the hospitals in Kabul

  • Women must present themselves in public with completely covered ankles

  • Strong punishment under the accusation of sex without marriage

  • The use of cosmetics on women is unwanted and banned in most locations of Afghanistan

  • Cannot clothe yourself in bright colors

  • Their bodies must be completely covered when in public (Restrictions imposed by Taliban)


The Taliban Militia, before the fall, were known for their harshness and carelessness to the punishments inflicted upon the Afghanistan women. Women were brutally beaten, publicly threatened, and killed when under the decree of the Taliban.

  • If you ran a home school for girls you were to be killed in front of your family.

  • A woman was stoned and accused of adultery if they were found trying to flee Afghanistan with another man not related to her.

  • Since women could not be cured by male doctors, often times they died of curable diseases.

  • If accused of prostitution, you were to be hung. (Campaign for Afghan women and girls)

Political impact
Political Impact

  • In 1923 Amanullah began his reign. During his position as ruler he focused on many women's reforms and the overall role women play in the family. His fight for women’s rights lead to widespread protest and caused the end of his reign as Afghanistan ruler.

  • Under the leadership of the “Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan” social change and empowering of women began to take action which in time led to a ten year war. The impact of the war caused a strong decline in the women’s status. (Dr. Huma Ahmed-Gosh)

(Peoples Democratic Party of Afghanistan)

(Amanullah Khan)

Political impact c ont
Political Impact Cont.

  • In 1923 Afghanistan created the first constitution allowing rights like education and equality to women. Later in 2004 due to continuous mistreatment of women, a new constitution emphasized the equality of men and women.

  • In 2004, Afghanistan held its first Democratic elections and due to the 2004 constitution woman were now allowed to vote.

  • Protests to overthrow the government due to lack of women individuality rose and caused chaos to break out. (Women War and Peace)

(Women’s Voting 2004)

Women in afghanistan

Works Cited

"Afghan Fails to Block deportation." Hazara Asylum Seekers. Hazara Asylm Seekers, 22 Sept. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

Ahmed-Gosh, Huma, Dr. "History of Women in Afghanistan." Bridgew.edu. Journal of International Womens Studies, May 2003. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

"Campaign for Afghan Women & Girls - Taliban & Women - Feminist Majority Foundation." Campaign for Afghan Women & Girls - Taliban & Women - Feminist Majority Foundation. Feminist Majority Foundation, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

"EDITORIAL; The Women of Afghanistan." The New York Times. The New York Times, 16 Aug. 2012. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

Griffin, Rebecca. "Afghan Activist MalalaiJoya Barred from Entering The US." Groundswell Blog, from Peace Action West. PeaceActionWest, 18 Mar. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

"Restrictions Imposed by Taliban in Afghanistan." Some of the Restrictions Imposed by Taliban in Afghanistan. Reports from Afghanistan, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

"Still a Long Road to Equality for Women in Afghanistan." Afghanistan Crossroads. CNN World, 08 Mar. 2010. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

"Timeline of Women’s Rights in Afghanistan." PBS. PBS, 25 Oct. 2011. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

Vogt, Hedi. "Divisions Grow as Afghan Women Protest Law Allowing Marital Rape." Memphis Commercial Appeal. Associated Press, 16 Apr. 2009. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.

"WOMEN IN AFGHANISTAN." U.S. Department of State. U.S. Department of State, n.d. Web. 17 Oct. 2012.