Taliban 'going door to door' marking those of prominent women

17 August 2021, 11:42

The Taliban are targeting prominent women
The Taliban are targeting prominent women. Picture: Getty

By Emma Soteriou

The Taliban are "going door to door" and seeking out prominent women, according to reports.

It is the latest in a number of changes since the group retook the capital, which also included reports that insurgents were seeking out girls as young as 12 as sex slaves and women on billboards being covered up.

Afghanistan's first female mayor, Zarifa Ghafari, said she was waiting for the group to kill her and her family, with no one left to help.

There have also been pleas from female journalists who fear for what is to come.

The Taliban are expected to reinstate an extreme form of sharia law in the country, meaning strict restrictions on women’s rights and freedom of speech.

Women could face being unable to work or be educated, as well as being forced to wear a burka and being unable to leave their home without a male relative.

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Scientist Homira Rezai grew up in Afghanistan until she was 13, before moving to the UK.

"Just an hour ago, I received an update from Kabul where they are going house to house searching for women who were activists, women who were bloggers, YouTubers, any women who had a role in the development of civil society in Afghanistan,’ she told Women’s Hour.

"They are going door to door targeting those women and marking the doors with bright pink or bright-coloured paint to ensure 'this is the house we need to come back to and do something about them'."

She went on to say: "When I say 'what is the worst pain that you’re feeling?', they say 'it’s not because the Taliban have come back, it’s not that the government has given up on us, it’s not the international community has failed us, but it’s because the 20 years that I have worked, it’s gone down the drain'.

"It’s because the future of their children is bleak, it’s because the rights the children had, that for example the Hazara community gained in the past 20 years, have gone."

Ms Rezai also shared her concerns on Twitter, saying women were in "grave danger".

Read more: Hundreds of desperate Afghans cram into US cargo plane as they flee Taliban

With the group being notorious for its attitude towards women, most countries are prioritising them in their attempts to evacuate the country.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a resettlement scheme, which would prioritise women and girls who face severe repression under Taliban governance.