Q+A: Women’s rights in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban

June 13, 2011

(Afghan men and women teachers attend their graduation ceremony in Kabul March 30, 2011/Omar Sobhani)

Women have won hard-fought rights in Afghanistan since the austere rule of the Taliban was ended by U.S.-backed Afghan forces in 2001. But gains made in areas such as education, work and even dress code look shaky as the government plans peace talks that include negotiating with the Taliban.

Reuters Kabul has produced a Q+A to accompany the feature How will Afghan women fare in Taliban reconciliation? by Amie Ferris-Rotman. Click here to read it in full.

Below are the headings for the questions and answers about women’s rights in Afghanistan today.

HOW BAD WAS IT FOR WOMEN UNDER TALIBAN RULE?

Rights groups and Western governments described the situation as one of the worst that the world had encountered for women at that time.

HAVE WOMEN’S RIGHTS REALLY IMPROVED IN AFGHANISTAN?

Yes. With the fall of the Taliban, women regained many of the basic rights that had been denied them.

IS PROGRESS THREATENED?

Women’s rights face setbacks from the Taliban, poor security, a strengthening conservative faction and even the present government itself.

WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?

There is growing concern from analysts and Afghan women that their rights will be overlooked.

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