The Washington Journal recently posted “Aid Groups Pause Work in Afghanistan After Nation’s Women Are Banned: Future of humanitarian efforts in doubt following Taliban move” with the latest round of gender apartheid edicts from the illegitimate Taliban-Haqqani regime again making the Western media take notice of the hell that is Afghanistan today. Many are calling Afghanistan under the terror regime an open-air prison for women and girls. The latest rules restricting the lives of Afghan women and the defiant tone of the regime leadership, means that prison won’t be opening its gates based on the concerns of the UN or condemnation of diplomats.

Women Banned from Universities

The terror regime started the week with a ban on women attending universities across the country. This means after the sixth grade, girls in Afghanistan will have no further educational opportunities. Students and teachers did not go quietly at first as they launched protests and conducted walkouts. Male students even took part in the walk-outs and some male professors resigned their positions. The Taliban-Haqqani regime quickly cracked down on all protest with rifle butts and at one point, even a vehicle-mounted water cannon.

Women Not Allowed to Work

Just as the world was starting to send their sharply worded (yet as always ineffective) complaints to the terror regime, another devastating edict was announced. As the Taliban-Haqqani regime seeks to control every aspect of a woman’s life, they shut-down one of the last places of employment for women. Now women are no longer allowed to work with international organizations, many who are humanitarian in nature and provide vital life-saving work in the country.

The response to this prohibition was even stronger and the result of the ban will lead to increased suffering this winter. Unfortunately for Afghans as NGOs learned of the employment-ban many announced they would suspend operations in the country. The Norwegian Refugee Council is estimated to have helped almost one million Afghans since August 2021 and now they have ended their operations.  CARE International, International Rescue Committee, and Save the Children also announced they will stop service this week. Afghans and the UN are watching nervously as other long-serving aid groups mull over their options.

The humanitarian coordinator for the UN’s Afghanistan operations, Ramiz Alakbarov, announced that “The nonparticipation of women staff in work is a red line for us.” He also said that the terror regime will be told of “the consequences of their decisions.” The UNAMA mission in Kabul depends heavily on the various aid groups that are ceasing operations to carry out the life-saving humanitarian work paid for by global nations via the UN.

Restrictions Keep Increasing

Since August 2021, the unrecognized regime has repeatedly placed restrictions on Afghan girls and women. Some sources are reporting that women can no longer run bakeries, buy sim cards for their phones, and cannot ride in public transportation without a male guardian. This measure is clearly designed to stop their access to information, curtail their communications, stop their income, and prevent their mobility. The next round of restrictions in their gender apartheid system is rumored to include stopping women from receiving payments from outside the country, restricting access to the internet and social media, and most appallingly beginning “virginity tests” on 12-year-old girls. Some even say they are considering marrying off the “virgin girls” to terrorists, and punishing any that “fail” the testing.

World’s Response Hasn’t Changed Reality

So far, the UN, diplomats have responded rapidly with words of condemnation and announcements of their shock at the Taliban-Haqqani behavior. Afghans who believe in human rights have pointed out to the West repeatedly that they should not be surprised by terrorist behavior and that words are not working. One Afghan women noted that, if the West does not enact tough sanctions on the Taliban-Haqqani leaders and their families, many who are girls studying abroad, there is little chance that the terrorists will reverse their edicts.

The leader of the United Nations António Guterres personally warned the terror regime that “the latest restrictions by the Taliban on employment and education of women and girls are unjustifiable human rights violations and must be revoked. Actions to exclude and silence women and girls continue to cause immense suffering and major setbacks to the potential of the Afghan people.”

But when the terror regime spokesperson is saying that “U.S. criticism” of Taliban edicts are “rubbish” “because NGOs who wish to operate in Afghanistan must follow Taliban rules”, there is little hope that words will make a difference.

As another Taliban-Haqqani regime minister explained on Christmas day, “Allah’s religion does not allow us to accept the infidels’ demands. Hijab is Allah’s order.” He went on, “We are Muslims, we’ve claimed to put in place an Islamic system, we’re obliged to force women to abide by the rule of Hijab. If they [the world] sanction us, use atomic bomb against us, or want to come here again, we can’t compromise or agree with them.”

Afghans see little hope for change when the Taliban-Haqqani regime are willing to fight the world to sustain their gender apartheid system. The United Nations is being tested weekly by the terror regime and so far, has been found wanting.


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Jason spent 23 years in USG service conducting defense, diplomacy, intelligence, and education missions globally. Now he teaches, writes, podcasts, and speaks publicly about Islam, foreign affairs, and national security. He is a member of the Military Writers Guild and aids with conflict resolution in Afghanistan.