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The Explainer: What's the future for women in Afghanistan?

This week’s guest is Heather Barr from Human Rights Watch.

OVER THE PAST two weeks, Afghanistan has been back in the news as foreign forces prepared to pull troops out of the country.

This move came after a deal was struck between the US (which has been in the country for 20 years) and the Taliban. 

However, it soon became clear that the Taliban was making its way through the country taking control of areas, and on 15 August it captured Kabul after a very swift advance.

This led to huge swathes of people trying to leave the country, for fear of what awaited them during a Taliban reign. Among people’s concerns was the treatment of women under the Taliban, which had control of the country from 1996 – 2001. 

Under that regime, women had to wear a burka, were banned from employment, faced restrictions on their movement, were banned from appearing on radio or television, and were not allowed to be in direct contact with men other than a close blood relative, husband or in-law, from the age of eight.

There are fears now that similar restrictions to their rights face women in Afghanistan.

To shed more light on this, we spoke to Heather Barr, interim co-director of the Women’s Rights Division at Human Rights Watch about what is happening on the ground in Afghanistan, and what the future for women might look like. (This podcast was recorded before today’s attack on Kabul Airport.)

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Source: The Explainer/SoundCloud

This episode was put together by presenter Sinéad O’Carroll, and producers Aoife Barry and Nicky Ryan.

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