The Taliban and Women: Lifting the Veil of Propaganda

The Taliban and Women: Lifting the Veil of Propaganda

[Edited version of a Taliban report acquired by Jamiat ul Ulema, South

Africa.] Posted: 26 Rabi-ul-Awwal 1422, 18 June 2001

The treatment of women in Afghanistan is a subject that the Western 


and feminists have concentrated their ideological warfare efforts on. 


is important to look at the policies of the Taliban as regards women 


the facts in the country itself, as reported by independent 


Women's Life Conditions Presently and Before Taliban

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is fully committed to the social,

cultural and economic development of women. The government has been 


to protect the honor, life and property of Afghan women. Contrary to 


situation before Taliban women can now be outside their houses safely

without the fear of being kidnapped, violated or looted. They no longer

fear conditions that were common before. Even Amnesty International (a

biased anti-Taliban organization) reports of 1992-95 admitted that 


in Afghanistan bore the brunt of the atrocities by armed factions.

Irresponsible commanders and gunmen not only violated the honor of 


but mutilated women's bodies and in many cases, cut their breasts etc.

Similarly, common was murder, torture and execution of the people by 


armed factions. Due to the intolerable atrocities, the Taliban Islamic

Movement emerged to deliver the defenseless Afghan people from the 


hands of the warlords.

Restoration of Women's Safety, Dignity and Freedom

Being highly concerned about the well-being of its female citizens, the

Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, soon introduced measures to put a stop 


the miserable living conditions under which the women lived in Kabul.

After the communists took over in Kabul, they began to exploit women 


the purpose of advancing their political and social agendas. In spite 


war condition in the country and with no work in the offices, the

communist regime forced a large number of women to attend government

offices only for their amusement. The Islamic Emirate decided to pay 


salaries of these women at their homes, so that they could stay home 


take care of their families and children. The purpose of this policy is 


help revive the Afghan family and household, as the foundation of the

Afghan society, a foundation that was intentionally destroyed by the

communist regime. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is determined to

provide educational and employment opportunities for the women of

Afghanistan, as soon as the security and financial circumstances under

which the Islamic Emirate operates allow such a step to be taken. In 


meantime, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan will try to acquire the

resources and build the facilities that would make the separate 


of women possible.

Observance of Islamic Hijab or the Veil

The enforcement of the code of Islamic Hijab by the Islamic Emirate of

Afghanistan is fully consistent with the Islamic beliefs of Afghans and

the traditions of the Afghan society. Wearing a veil is common among 


all over Afghanistan. Islam and Afghan tradition attach the greatest

importance to the honor and safety of women in the society. To comply 


the Islamic code of Hijab, as well as to reduce the degree of threat to

the personal safety of women, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is 


the women to observe the Islamic Hijab, and cover their faces in 


This is a measure that is undertaken for the simple reason of 


the honor, dignity, and personal safety of the women in Afghanistan.

Women's Education in the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

Based on the holy teachings of Islam, the Islamic Emirate of 


considers education as the pillar of a healthy and prosperous 


and social life. The Islamic Emirate is determined to provide 


opportunities for all Afghans irrespective of gender, race, tribe,

language, or regional affiliations. The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

considers education to be obligatory equally for men and women 


to the tenets of Islam. This is a clear verdict of our religion.

However, currently the country is in shambles, its economic structure

destroyed and education facilities turned to rubble like much else in 


country. Afghanistan requires appropriate foreign assistance to rebuild

every aspect of educational institutions. The present war situation

imposed and fueled by foreign powers diverts from Afghanistan's already

meager national resources that would be better allocated to opening 


schools. Larger and more centrally-run schools in urban areas present 


greatest challenge.

Secondly, the Afghans do not trust the communist-style curriculum. We 


to restore the trust of  the common people in government-run education. 


also need to compile a new curriculum that will answer to the needs of 


society. Thirdly, the war has created a huge brain drain in all sectors

including education. In order to successfully tackle restoration of

educational, economic, political and social institutions, the 


wants to attract Afghan professionals and intellectuals living abroad. 


want them to take part in the reconstruction of their country. Without

their full participation in the rehabilitation and development efforts,

the Islamic Emirate will not be able to tackle these issues 


The conditions today for the implementation of a sound, effective, and

Islamic educational program for the women of Afghanistan are 


Over ninety percent of school buildings have been ruined by the war.

Qualified teachers have left the country. School books are full of

communist propaganda and indoctrination material. Because of past 


of the educational system for the purpose of propagating atheist 


and ideas, the great majority of Afghan fathers and mothers have lost

faith in schools and secular education.

Last but not least, in spite of its deep desire to activate the 


system in the country, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has been 


great difficulties in securing the financial and physical resources 


to provide security for the schools, reconstruct school buildings, 


new books, acquire the necessary materials and pay for qualified and

dependable teachers. The limited amount of resources at the disposal of

the Islamic Emirate are being used to finance a war that has been 


on Afghanistan by the brazen and open intervention of countries such as

Iran, Russia, Uzbekistan and India. Intervention by these countries, 


the resulting terrorist activities launched against the innocent men 


women of Afghanistan by groups affiliated to these countries, have made

the task of providing security for schools and public buildings,

particularly girl's schools, extremely difficult.

Currently Operating Girls' Schools

Despite the limited economic resources of the Islamic Emirate of

Afghanistan to fund educational institutes, universities in Qandahar,

Kabul and Nangrahar provinces are operating as usual. Several NGOs have

been allowed to fund schools in Afghanistan, besides the schools funded 


the government. Contrary to reports about girls education in the press,

the figures obtained from the education sector in Afghanistan, reveal 


girls education in rural Afghanistan is increasing.

According to a survey conducted by the Swedish Committee for 


(SCA), almost 80 per cent of the girls schools located in rural areas

under the administration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan are

operating in full swing. Ms. Pia Karlsson, education advisor at the

Education Technical Support Unit (ETSU) of SCA, said in a recent 


published by the Frontier Post, a Peshawar based English daily that 


in Ghazni province, where the Islamic Emirate under the leadership of 


has control for the last two years, approximately 85 per cent of the 


are still in schools. Ms.Karlsson says, "The picture outside the cities 


totally different." The SCA which has been supporting elementary 


in Afghanistan since 1984, currently supports 422 boys schools, 125 


schools and 897 mixed schools (co-education) in the forms of primary

schools and home schools. During the survey, she concentrated on 100 


supported girls schools in the nine provinces: Kabul, Kunar, Laghman,

Ningarhar, Ghzani, Logar, Paktika, Paktya and Wardak. All these 


are under the administration of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

According to the survey, female attendance was at 94 per cent and of 


7834 girls enrolled, 7341 were found present. More significantly, at 


170 female teachers were found teaching in these schools. Similarly, in

Kunduz province, 122 schools are operating with 390 female teachers

teaching at the schools. The Islamic Emirate is ready to open girls and

boys schools with appropriate foreign assistance.

Female Health Sector

Health facilities for women have increased 200% during Taleban

administration. Prior to the Taleban Islamic Movement's taking control 


Kabul, there were 350 beds in all hospitals in Kabul. Currently, there 


more than 950 beds for women in exclusive women's hospitals. Some

hospitals which have specifically been allocated to women include Rabia

Balkhi Hospital, Malali Hospital, Khair Khana Hospital, Indira Gandhi

Child Health Hospital, Atta Turk Hospital, Kuwait Red Crescent 


Contagious Disease Hospital and T.B. Hospital. Moreover, there are 32

mother and child health clinics. In addition to this, women receive

treatment at ICRC and the Sandy Gal Orthopaedic Centers. In all these

hospitals and clinics, women work as doctors and nurses to provide 


services to female patients.


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