1,000 days under Taliban rule: Afghanistan faces deepening crisis

As of Saturday, May 11, 2024, the Taliban’s return to power in Afghanistan reaches its 1,000-day mark since the fall of the republic government in August 2021.

This period has seen the imposition of repressive policies, particularly affecting women and girls, stripping away fundamental rights and contributing to a severe humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations reports that over 23 million people in Afghanistan now require humanitarian assistance as the country’s economic, political, and social structures continue to collapse. Women and girls have borne the brunt of the Taliban’s stringent policies, with many losing access to education and employment.

Noor, a 63-year-old resident of Farah province suffering from hyperkyphosis, shared her plight. “My life is in darkness. We are sitting in a house. Sometimes someone helps us with rice and flour; otherwise, I cannot work. My hands are tied,” she said. Noor’s only son has moved to Iran for work, leaving her to care for her grandchildren.

Women like Palwasha and Banafsheh from Farah and Herat respectively have voiced their struggles under the Taliban rule. “In the last two years, alongside losing my job, many women like me have also been left without work and education,” said Palwasha. Banafsheh, who lost her job due to restrictions on women working without a male guardian, expressed, “I appealed to the international community to sit down with the Taliban as soon as possible and find an appropriate solution so that Afghan women do not suffer further.”

As educational and employment opportunities for women continue to vanish, the international community remains critical of the Taliban’s policies. Recent statements from the United Nations and reports from the World Bank indicate a deteriorating economic situation, with rising malnutrition rates in Afghanistan.

The grim milestone comes just days after the UN declared Afghanistan the country most vulnerable to a humanitarian crisis, underscoring the profound challenges that lie ahead.