I feel strongly that the United States should use its talks with the Taliban about withdrawing U.S. troops as an opportunity to negotiate for women’s rights in Afghanistan [“Fearing Taliban’s return,” News, Aug. 27]. This is necessary to ensure that Afghan women aren’t forced to return to the horrific abuses they endured under Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001. Under the Taliban’s version of Islamic fundamentalism, women were:
- Banned from going to school or work.
- Virtually imprisoned in their homes, as they could not go outside without being accompanied by a male relative.
- Banned from accessing health care delivered by male doctors.
- Banned from talking to men to whom they were not related.
- Required to submit to forced marriages in 80 percent of cases, according to Amnesty International.
These despicable practices violate the basic principles of international human rights. The Taliban wants to write its own constitution based on Islamic principles. It is morally imperative that the U.S. government help Afghan women retain their human dignity and rights given to them under the 2003 Afghan constitution.