June 15, 2023

Instead of Politicizing Afghanistan, Stand Up for Women and Girls

A human rights calamity is unfolding in Afghanistan. In its latest move to repress half of the country’s population, the Taliban mandated that Afghan women can no longer work for the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). The United Nations (U.N.) condemned the Taliban for forcing the international organization to make an “appalling choice” between continuing its operations without employing Afghan women, which would violate the U.N. charter, or withdrawing from the country, which would deepen the humanitarian crisis. Following a U.N.-led international meeting in Doha in early May, U.N. Secretary General António Guterres signaled that the U.N. would likely continue operating in Afghanistan despite the harsh Taliban edict. This follows several other outrageous Taliban edicts, including keeping girls out of secondary school and young women from attending university; preventing women from leaving their homes without a male companion; and prohibiting women from going to parks or gyms or holding jobs, except in the health sector.

Yet rather than stand up for Afghan women and girls in the face of such repressive policies, American leaders—Republicans and Democrats alike—are busy in a blame game about which political party is responsible for the U.S. failure in Afghanistan. Republican congressional leaders have held hearings on Afghanistan that focus on the Biden administration’s poor handling of the August 2021 withdrawal but largely ignore what is happening to women and girls in the country. One exception to Republican leaders’ inaction on the plight of Afghan women was Congressman Mike McCaul’s chairing of a roundtable on the issue that featured remarks by former Afghan Ambassador Roya Rahmani. For its part, the Biden administration recently published a review of the Afghan withdrawal that laid blame on the Trump administration for the Biden administration’s own failures. For instance, the Biden administration chose to bind itself to the Trump-era Doha deal made between the United States and the Taliban that called for U.S. troop withdrawal by May 2021. The Biden administration could have delayed a troop withdrawal and negotiated a harder bargain with the Taliban. The administration would better serve American interests by focusing on implementing policies that support women and girls, like conditioning engagement with the Taliban on the reopening of schools and universities to women.

Meanwhile, the women of Afghanistan are bravely standing up for themselves, despite the risks. Based on reporting by local journalists, contacts with Afghanistan-based protestors, and communication with the global Afghan diaspora community, Center for a New American Security researchers documented 86 women-led protests since September 2021. Most recently on April 29, dozens of Afghan women protested in the streets of Kabul against a U.N.-led meeting in Doha to discuss how the international community should engage the Taliban. Due to the Taliban’s harsh crackdown, 32 of these demonstrations were held indoors, with protestors getting their message out through videos, social media, and web postings.

Statements from the international community condemning the Taliban for its crackdown on women have been clear and forthright. In March, the head of UNAMA announced that Afghanistan is the most repressive country in the world for women and that the Taliban has moved to systematically erase women from public life. But statements are not enough. The international community must act, including by penalizing the Taliban.

The False Choice between Countering Terrorism and Supporting Women

U.S. policymakers must not believe in the false choice that either the United States supports human rights or it pursues its counterterrorism objectives. The two issues are directly linked. The worse the Taliban treats women and girls, the greater the likelihood that Afghanistan becomes a locus of extremist ideologies and terrorism once again. Moreover, high-level U.S. engagement with Taliban leaders under the current circumstances only serves to strengthen the Taliban’s narrative that it is a legitimate power that has conquered its enemies and is therefore entitled to flout international norms and violate the rights of the Afghan people.

Seeking to engage the Taliban on terrorism while ignoring what it is doing to women is shortsighted. While the United States and the Taliban both oppose the Islamic State– Khorasan Province (ISKP)—which has conducted multiple terrorist attacks in the country in the last several years—this alone does not mean that Washington should rush to engage the Taliban or has much to gain by doing so. First, the Taliban will fight ISKP on its own, with or without U.S. assistance. Second, the Taliban remains closely allied with al Qaeda; the U.N. Security Council Sanctions Monitoring Team noted in its February 2023 report that the two groups have an “ongoing and cooperative relationship.” Third, the Taliban is opening new madrasas (religious schools) and implementing new curriculum that teaches young men about its radical brand of Islam, thus breeding a new generation of extremists, many of whom are likely to become terrorists. Rather than using limited U.S. leverage to encourage the Taliban to act against ISKP terrorists, which they will do of their own volition, U.S. officials should focus their attention, resources, and diplomacy on seeking improvement in the treatment of women and girls.

Don’t Give Up on Protecting Afghan Women

While the United States and international community may be unable to immediately impact Taliban decision-making on policies toward women and girls, they should still attempt to do so. They should condition engagement with Taliban leaders on their treatment of women and girls and impose further human rights sanctions on them. They should also increase engagement with political opposition leaders and expatriate Afghans who support women’s rights. It is encouraging that State Department Special Representative for Afghanistan Tom West traveled to Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Turkey to meet Afghan civil society leaders, journalists, humanitarian workers, and human rights activists in mid-April.

In addition, Washington should reopen the Afghanistan embassy in Washington and allow Afghan diplomats from the previous Islamic Republic regime to run it. This will put pressure on the Taliban, which still craves international recognition and legitimacy. Finally, Washington should shred the Doha deal made between the United States and the Taliban during the Trump administration, which paved the way for a U.S. troop withdrawal in exchange for Taliban counterterrorism reassurances. Discarding this agreement would help deny the Taliban legitimacy at a time when it is committing gross human rights violations. Pressuring the Taliban to change course on its policies toward women and girls will not only demonstrate that the United States still stands up for its values and principles, but it will also help dampen support for extremism and prevent the resurgence of terrorism in the region and beyond.

Protest Map Methodology

Jan Mohammad Jahid, a researcher with CNAS’ Indo-Pacific Security team, collected data on protests from reporting by local journalists, contact with Afghanistan-based protestors, and communication with the global Afghan diaspora community. The protests included a range from 10 to 400 participants—with most protests between 10 and 30. Thirty-two of the 86 protests documented were small, private gatherings of women and girls who shared their messages virtually; these are included since women face grave danger from the Taliban authorities if they protest in the streets. Under the extremely oppressive conditions for women, even participating in indoor protests carries risk of punishment by the Taliban. For a full list of protest sources, see endnote 11.

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  1. “Taliban ban on women has forced UN into ‘appalling choice,” Al Jazeera, April 11, 2023, https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/4/11/taliban-ban-on-women-has-forced-un-into-appalling-choice.
  2. Andrew Mills, “UN will stay in Afghanistan but funding is drying up, chief say,” Reuters, May 2, 2023, https://www.reuters.com/world/un-chief-says-international-community-worried-about-stability-afghanistan-2023-05-02/.
  3. Lisa Curtis and Annie Pforzheimer with Jan Mohammad Jahid, “Against All Odds: Supporting Civil Society and Human Rights in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan,” (CNAS, March 9, 2023), https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/against-all-odds.
  4. “McCaul, Meeks Host Roundtable on Crisis Facing Afghan Women and Girls,” U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, press release, May 17, 2023, https://foreignaffairs.house.gov/press-release/mccaul-meeks-host-roundtable-on-crisis-facing-afghan-women-and-girls/.
  5. The White House, U.S. Withdrawal from Afghanistan, (April 6, 2023), https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2023/04/US-Withdrawal-from-Afghanistan.pdf.
  6. Ahmad Mukhtar, "Afghanistan’s women protest as U.N. hosts meeting in Doha on “how to engage with the Taliban,” CBS News, May 1, 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-taliban-un-doha-womens-rights-protest-government-recognition/.
  7. Rahim Faiez, “UN: Afghanistan is world’s most repressive country for women,” AP News, March 8, 2023, https://apnews.com/article/taliban-afghanistan-women-rights-united-nations-591c39436d53f83e5a0c423c5e06891c.
  8. United Nations Security Council, Letter dated 13 February 2023 from the Chair of the Security Council Committee pursuant to resolutions 1267 (1999), 1989 (2011) and 2253 (2015) concerning Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Da’esh), Al-Qaida and associated individuals, groups, undertakings and entities addressed to the President of the Security Council, (February 13, 2023), https://www.ecoi.net/en/file/local/2087006/N2303891.pdf.
  9. Curtis and Pforzheimer with Jahid, “Against All Odds: Supporting Civil Society and Human Rights in Taliban-Controlled Afghanistan.”
  10. “Special Representative for Afghanistan West’s April 11-18 Travel to Qatar, UAE, Istanbul,” State Department, media note, April 11, 2023, https://www.state.gov/special-representative-for-afghanistan-wests-april-11-18-travel-to-qatar-uae-istanbul/.
  11. Badakhshan Province: Hussain Ahmadi, “Women Protested against the Taliban in Keshem, Badakhshan,” Nimrokh Media, January 1, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/01/women-protested-against-the-taliban-in-keshem-badakhshan/; Mina Jalili, “Zanan e Badakhshani; Ma Baray e Azadi Aab Mishawim [Badakhshani Women; We are Going to Melt for Freedom],” Facebook photo, September 8, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=108773084880131&set=a.103935078697265; and Freedom Seeker Women Movement, “Jang e Setaragan dar Barabar e Wahshyan [Stars Fight against Wilds],” Facebook, October 30, 2022, https://bit.ly/3Soevh4.
    Baghlan Province: “Motarezin dar Baghlan wa kapisa: Nasl Koshi Hazara ha ra tawaqof Dahid [Protesters in Baghlan and Kapisa: Stop the Genocide of the Hazaras],” Nimrokh Media, October 4, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/2022/10/04/protesters-in-baghlan-and-kapisa-stop-the-genocide-of-the-hazaras/.
    Balkh Province: Amin Kawa, “Women Across the Country Continue Protesting against the Attack on KEC,” 8am Media, October 4, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/women-across-the-country-continue-protesting-against-the-attack-on-kec/.
    Bamyan Province: “Protestors in Bamyan, Toronto, and Oslo Urge Not to Recognize Taliban Regime,” 8am Media, January 23, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/do-not-recognize-taliban-government-bamyan-toronto-oslo-protestors/; and “Attack on KEC in West Kabul, Taliban React Violently to Women’s Protests across the Country,” 8am Media, October 4, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/attack-on-kec-in-west-kabul-taliban-react-violently-to-womens-protests-across-the-country/.
    Daykundi Province: “Women in Daikundi Protest against Unfair Distribution of Humanitarian Aid,” 8am Media, January 24, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/women-in-daikundi-protest-against-unfair-distribution-of-humanitarian-aid/; and BBC Dari, “Taliban Hoqhoqh e Sharaye Zanan ra Bedahand [The Taliban Should Give Islamic Rights to Women],” Facebook photo, February 5, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/bbcdari/photos/a.101802826630992/2668641846613731/.
    Ghazni Province: “Female Protesters in Ghazni: Stop Hazara Genocide,” Nimrokh Media, October 6, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/10/06/female-protesters-in-ghazni-stop-hazara-genocide/; and “Protesters in Ghazni Province Chant the Slogan ‘Stop Hazara Genocide’ for the Second Day,” 8am Media, October 9, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/protesters-in-ghazni-province-chant-the-slogan-stop-hazara-genocide-for-the-second-day/.
    Ghor Province: “Grouh e Taliban Ejaza e Poshesh e Khabari Tazahurat e Zanan dar Ghor ra Nadadand [The Taliban Group Did Not Allow Journalists to Cover the Women’s Demonstrations in Ghor],” Rukhshana Media, September 7, 2021, https://rukhshana.com/taliban-did-not-allow-reporters-to-cover-the-ghor-women-protests.
    Herat Province: BBC Persian, “Taliban Balay Motarezin Fire Kardand [Taliban Fired on Protesters],” Facebook video, September 7, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=902220097367795; “Female Students March at Herat University over Friday’s Deadly Attack in Kabul,” 8am Media, October 2, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/female-students-march-at-herat-university-over-fridays-deadly-attack-in-kabul/; and “Taliban Violently Disperse Women’s Protests in Herat,” 8am Media, December 24, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/taliban-violently-disperse-girls-protests-in-herat/.
    Kabul Province: Meenakshi Ray, “‘Won’t Relinquish Our Rights’: Afghan Women Protest, Say Haven’t Been Allowed to Work by Taliban,” Hindustan Times, August 20, 2021, https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/afghan-women-protest-say-haven-t-been-allowed-to-work-by-taliban-101629446860270.html; Yaser Abrar, “Hamwatan Sadayat Kojast [Neighbor Where Is Your Voice],” Facebook video, September 7, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1050856535668311; Khalilzad buidaqi, “Pakistan Biron sho az Afghanistan [Pakistan Get Out of Afghanistan],” Facebook video, September 7, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1528918790776247; Dctor Mohammadi, “Bas Ast nasl Koshi [Genocide Is Enough],” Facebook photo, September 9, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1285361475235981&set=a.12158867161327; Dctor Mohammadi, “Mobareza Baray Baz Shodan e Makatib [Struggle to Open the Schools],” Facebook photo, October 5, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1300318867073575&set=a.121588671613273; Dctor Mohammadi, “Ma khwahan e Baz Shodan e Makatib Hastim [We Want the Schools to Be Opened],” Facebook photo, October 5 2021, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=1302522190186576&set=pcb.1302524513519677; Dctor Mohammadi, “Kanfarance Matboati [Press Conference],” Facebook video, November 17, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/100012864224150/videos/340816301181589/; Dctor Mohammadi, “Pirozi ma dar Etehad e mast [Our Unity Is Our Success], Facebook video, December 4, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/100012864224150/videos/312866944024422/; Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan Women, “Ma Saday Mardom e Gorosna Hastim [We Are the Voice of Hungry People],” Facebook video, December 28, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/100012864224150/videos/624249532058860/; Hussain Ahmadi, “Three Women Protest Movements Pledged to Jointly Fight against the Taliban,” Nimrokh Media, January 6, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/06/three-women-protest-movements-pledged-to-jointly-fight-against-the-taliban/; Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan Women, “Baray Kamyabi dar Ayenda [For Our Success in the Future],” Facebook photo, January 7, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=113125337910887&set=pcb.113125844577503; “The Taliban Distribute International Aid Unfairly and through Ethnic Affairs,” Nimrokh Media, January 8, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/08/the-taliban-distribute-international-aid-unfairly-and-through-ethnic-affairs/; “The World Suppress the Taliban Immediately,” Nimrokh Media, January 8, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/08/the-world-suppress-the-taliban-immediately/; Minna Massoumi, “Ustad Jalal ra Azad konid [Free Professor Jalal],” Facebook video, January 9, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/minna.mass/videos/482379719977941; Asiya Hamzaie, “Coward Absentees and Brave Women,” 8am Media, January 23, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/coward-absentees-and-brave-women/; “Letter from Kabul to Oslo Summit: Taliban Detain, Torture, and Repress Women,” Nimrokh Media, January 24, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/24/letter-from-kabul-to-oslo-summit-taliban-detain-torture-and-repress-women/; “The Spontaneous Movement of Protesting Women: We Will Never Accept the Taliban Group as Afghanistan Legitimate Government,” Nimrokh Media, January 25, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/25/the-spontaneous-movement-of-protesting-women-we-will-never-accept-the-taliban-group-as-afghanistan-legitimate-government/; Mutiullah Salehi, “Photo Package; Women’s Resistance and Protest,” Nimrokh Media, January 27, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2021/12/19/photo-package-womens-resistance-and-protest/; Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan Women, “Asiran ra Reha Konid [Release the Female Prisoners],” Facebook photo, February 2, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/109380391618715/photos/a.112411737982247/121792253710862/; “Inside Six Months Struggle of Women against the Taliban,” Nimrokh Media, February 15, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/02/15/inside-six-months-struggle-of-women-against-the-taliban/; “Women Protestors: Tragedy Begins with Closure of Education Doors to Girls,” 8am Media, March 29, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/women-protestors-tragedy-begins-with-closure-of-education-doors-to-girls/; “Protests against Compulsory Hijab: Protestors Call It Humiliation and Insult to Women’s Dignity,” 8am Media, May 9, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/protests-against-compulsory-hijab-protestors-call-it-humiliation-and-insult-to-womens-dignity/; “Taliban Scatters Women’s Protests in Kabul,” 8am Media, May 26, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/taliban-scatters-womens-protests-in-kabul/; Hussain Ahmadi, “The World’s Silence against the Taliban Proved That Women’s Rights Have Become Sacrificed for Political Deals,” Nimrokh Media, July 3, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/07/03/the-worlds-silence-against-the-taliban-proved-that-womens-rights-have-become-sacrificed-for-political-deals/; Hussain Ahmadi, “10 Suggestions of Afghan Female Protesters to the International Community,” Nimrokh Media, July 6, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/07/06/10-suggestions-of-afghan-female-protesters-to-the-international-community/; Hussain Ahmadi, “The Will of Female Protesters: ‘The Shameful Silence of The World Will be Recorded in Political History,’” Nimrokh Media, July 16, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/07/16/the-will-of-female-protesters-the-shameful-silence-of-the-world-will-be-recorded-in-political-history/; “Taliban Scatters Women’s Protests in Kabul,” 8am Media, August 13, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/taliban-scatters-women-protests-in-kabul/; “Women Have Lost Their Human Dignity and Freedom,” Nimrokh Media, August 15, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/08/15/women-have-lost-their-human-dignity-and-freedom/; Hussain Ahmadi, “August 15th; ‘Afghan Women’s Solidarity Day,’” Nimrokh Media, August 15, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/08/15/august-15th-afghan-womens-solidarity-day/; “Mourning Dress for a Year of Women’s Misery,” Nimrokh Media, August 15, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/08/15/mourning-dress-for-a-year-of-womens-misery/; “Women: The Silence of the United Nations is Shameful,” Nimrokh Media, August 16, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/08/16/women-the-silence-of-the-united-nations-is-shameful/; “29 Female Protesters Were Injured in Saturday’s Protest,” Nimrokh Media, August 18, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/08/18/29-female-protesters-were-injured-in-saturdays-protest/; “Stop Cooperating with Terrorism, Women Asked International Community,” Nimrokh Media, August 19, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/08/19/stop-cooperating-with-terrorism-women-asked-international-community/; Narges Sadat, “Women: Forced Marriage Has Increased since Taliban Takeover,” Nimrokh Media, September 3, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/09/03/women-forced-marriage-has-increased-since-taliban-takeover/; “The Necessity of Eliminating Taliban Lobbyists from the Body of Women’s Struggles,” Nimrokh Media, September 17, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/09/17/the-necessity-of-eliminating-taliban-lobbyists-from-the-body-of-womens-struggles/; “A Year of Darkness; The Afghan Girls Letter to the World Leaders,” Nimrokh Media, September 19, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/09/19/a-year-of-darkness-the-afghan-girls-letter-to-the-world-leaders/; “UNAMA Calls on Taliban to Avoid Using Weapons against Protestors,” 8am Media, October 1, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/unama-calls-on-taliban-to-avoid-using-weapons-against-protestors/; “Female Students Protest the Closure of Schools with Painting,” Nimrokh Media, October 11, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/10/11/female-students-protest-the-closure-of-schools-with-painting/; Ali Shah Ahmadi, “‘No to Compulsory Hijab’ Campaign: Taliban Fights Women Instead of Addressing Poverty,” 8am Media, October 14, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/no-to-compulsory-hijab-campaign-taliban-fights-women-instead-of-addressing-poverty/; “Afghan Women Call on International Community to Support Their Rights Demanding Protests,” 8am Media, October 16, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/afghan-women-call-on-international-community-to-support-their-rights-demanding-protests/; Zarifa Yaqubi, “Tahsil Khat e Sorkh e mast [Education Is Our Red Line],” Facebook photo, October 18, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=861365195243716&set=pcb.861365968576972; “Protests over Closure of Girls’ Schools in Kabul,” 8am Media, October 29, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/protests-over-closure-of-girls-schools-in-kabul/; “Taliban Prevents Women’s March in Kabul,” 8am Media, October 31, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/taliban-prevents-womens-march-in-kabul/; “Female Employees of the Previous Government Protest against Unemployment in Kabul,” Rukhshana Media, October 31, 2022, https://rukhshana.com/en/female-employees-of-the-previous-government-protest-against-unemployment-in-kabul; Amin Kawa, “Black Year for Women, Taliban Continues Oppressing and Imprisoning Women,” 8am Media, November 5, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/black-year-for-women-taliban-continues-oppressing-and-imprisoning-women/; Amin Kawa, “100 Letters to UN Security Council, Women Narrate Their Stories under the Shadow of Taliban’s Rule,” 8am Media, November 15, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/100-letters-to-un-security-council-afghan-women-narrate-their-stories-under-the-shadow-of-talibans-rule/; “Protests over Rights of Afghan Women in Kabul,” 8am Media, November 24, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/protests-over-rights-of-afghan-women-in-kabul/; “Taliban Violently Disperses Women’s Protest against University Ban,” Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty’s Radio Azadi, December 22, 2022, https://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-taliban-disperses-women-protest-university-ban/32189026.html; “Afghan Women and Girls Protest as Taliban Restrictions Mount,” Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty’s Radio Azadi, January 2, 2023, https://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-women-protest-ban-education-ngo/32204297.html; “Online Protests Step Up as Taliban Cracks Down on Demonstrators,” Rukhshana Media, January 9, 2023, https://rukhshana.com/en/online-protests-step-up-as-taliban-cracks-down-on-demonstrators; Afghanistan Powerful Women Movement, “Atash Zadan e Bairaqh e Emarat [Burning the Taliban’s Flag],” Facebook video, January 24, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=464285202583987; “Grohi Az Zanan, Bar e Digar tazahurat Kardand [A Group of Women, Once Again Protested against Taliban Roles],” VOA News, March 7, 2023, https://www.darivoa.com/a/woman-protest-in-kabul/6993030.html; “Taliban Shumari Az Zanan e Mutariz Ra Bazdasht kardand [The Taliban Arrested Some of the Women Protesters],” VOA News, March 26, 2023, https://ir.voanews.com/a/taliban-women-afghan-schools/7022636.html; and CBS News, “Afghanistan’s Women Protest as U.N. Hosts Meeting in Doha on ‘How to Engage with the Taliban,’” April 29, 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-taliban-un-doha-womens-rights-protest-government-recognition/.
    Kandahar Province: “People in Kandahar Protested in Response to the Forced Displacement of 3,000 Families,” 8am Media, September 14, 2021, https://8am.media/eng/people-in-kandahar-protested-in-response-to-the-forced-displacement-of-3000-families/; and Nilofar Ayoubi, “Tir Andazi Taliban Balay Motarezin dar Kandahar [The Taliban Shot at Protesters in Kandahar],” Facebook video, December 24, 2022, bit.ly/3jXDg6N.
    Kapisa Province: “Women in Kapisa Province Protest over the Extrajudicially Killings in Panjshir Province,” 8am Media, September 17, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/women-in-kapisa-protest-over-the-war-in-panjshir-demanding-an-end-to-the-killings/.
    Kunduz Province: Nimrokh Media, “Adalat Baray hama [Justice for All],” Facebook photo, January 2, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/nimrokhmedia/photos/1131723610695891/.
    Nangarhar Province: “Women in Nangarhar Condemn the Attack on Kaj,” Nimrokh Media, October 5, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/10/05/women-in-nangarhar-condemn-the-attack-on-kaj/; and “‘A Bird With No Wings’: Afghan Women React with Despair to Taliban’s University Ban,” Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty’s Radio Azadi, December 21, 2022, https://www.rferl.org/a/afghanistan-taliban-women-universtiy-ban-reaction/32187589.html.
    Paktia Province: “Protests on Closure of Girls’ Schools in Paktia Province,” 8am Media, September 10, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/protests-on-closure-of-girls-schools-in-paktia-province/.
    Paktika Province: “Paktika Residents Call for the Reopening of Education Doors to Girls,” 8am Media, October 19, 2022, https://8am.media/eng/paktika-residents-call-for-the-reopening-of-education-doors-to-girls/.
    Panjshir Province: Afghanistan Women’s Government in Exile, “Sokot e Jameya e Jahani Sharm Awar Ast [The Silence of the International Community Is Shameful],” Facebook video, November 1, 2021, bit.ly/3lzkljk; and Rukhshana Media, “Aanan Tahamul e Jenayat e Taliban ra nadarand [They Do Not Have Tolerance of the Taliban’s Cruelty],” Facebook video, December 27, 2021, bit.ly/3E8hW5u.
    Parwan Province: Aurora Hope, “Hoqhoqh e Ensani Zanan, Khat e Sorkh e Mast [Women’s Humanitarian Rights Are Our Red Line],” Facebook photo, September 9, 2021, bit.ly/3XlfEjT; “Women in Parwan: The Taliban Put Limitations on Women Instead of Governing,” Nimrokh Media, January 4, 2022, https://nimrokhmedia.com/en/2022/01/04/women-in-parwan-the-taliban-put-limitations-on-women-instead-of-governing/; Unity and Solidarity of Afghanistan Women, “Ma Zanan Bidarim, az Tabeiz Bizarim [We Women are Awake and Disgusted with Discrimination],” Facebook photo, January 17, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/photo/?fbid=116253587598062&set=pcb.116255084264579; and 8am Media, “Adalat, Adalat, Khasta eim Az Jahalat [Justice, Justice, Tired of Ignorance],” Facebook video, December 25, 2022, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=699776075184678;.
    Samangan Province: Nimrokh Media, “Badraftary Taliban Ba Pezishkan e Zan Dar Samangan [Taliban Misbehaves with Female Doctors in Samangan],” Facebook video, December 27, 2021, https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=260892269474055.
    Takhar Province: Shahnaz Hariri, “Tahsil Haqh e Mast [Education Is Our Right],” Facebook photo, December 22, 2022, bit.ly/3YzfxsI; and Combat of Afghanistan Aggregations, “Ma haqh e Khod ra Mikhahim [We Want Our Right],” Facebook video, January 9, 2023, https://www.facebook.com/100086110820556/videos/533501125403993.


  • Lisa Curtis

    Senior Fellow and Director, Indo-Pacific Security Program

    Lisa Curtis is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Indo-Pacific Security Program at CNAS. She is a foreign policy and national security expert with over 20 years of service in...

  • Podcast
    • May 22, 2024
    How The U.S. Failed To Meet the China Challenge

    It’s a rare subject of bipartisan agreement that China is the greatest strategic challenge facing the U.S., perhaps the greatest it has ever faced. And yet, despite a decade o...

    By Richard Fontaine & Robert Blackwill

  • Reports
    • May 21, 2024
    Addressing a Human Rights and Looming Terrorism Crisis in Afghanistan

    Executive Summary Pursuing the same harsh policies as it did during its previous stint in power in the 1990s, the Taliban has increasingly clamped down on the rights of women...

    By Lisa Curtis & Annie Pforzheimer

  • Podcast
    • May 16, 2024
    Beyond China's Black Box

    In this episode of Pekingology, Freeman Chair in China Studies Jude Blanchette is joined by Jacob Stokes, Senior Fellow with the Indo-Pacific Security Program at the Center fo...

    By Jacob Stokes & Jude Blanchette

  • Commentary
    • Breaking Defense
    • May 3, 2024
    Countering China’s Red Dragon over the South China Sea

    There is little doubt that China’s maritime power has grown over the last several decades, with its fleet expected to reach 400 surface combatants by 2025. As they have develo...

    By LCDR Thelmar A. Rosarda & Nathaniel Schochet

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