Ebene News – UA – Young women who grew up without the Taliban fearing their return

Sultana Karimi works in Ms Sadat’s Beauty Store in the Afghan capital She found bravery and her love for beauty in the store

She and the other young women who work or train in the store have never experienced Taliban rule over Afghanistan

But they all fear their dreams will come to an end if extremist militants take power again, even if it happens under a new government

Karimi said if the Taliban returned life would change and be ruined She continued: “Women will be sent underground, they will be forced to wear the burqa to leave their homes.”

She was wearing a bright yellow shirt which was unusual even for the women’s only store. She could not have worn the shirt under the Taliban

The Taliban have banned beauty shops in general Their extreme ideas have often affected women and girls They have banned women from educating themselves, working and even traveling outside their homes without a male member of the family

US troops should leave Afghanistan completely by September 11 Many Afghan women worry about their future after US troops leave

Mahbouba Seraj is a women’s rights activist in Afghanistan She is the executive director of skills development for Afghan women She said women were closely monitoring Taliban-Afghan government peace talks over the post-withdrawal future. At the moment, these negotiations are frozen

US pushes for power-sharing government that includes Taliban Seraj said women want written guarantees from the Taliban that they will not undo the progress women have made in the past 20 years They also want the international community to keep the Taliban on its promises

Seraj said: “I am not frustrated that the Americans are leaving… the time has come for the Americans to go home”

She and other women, however, want the US and NATO to demand guaranteed rights for Taliban women

The ad pledged that women can serve the country in education, business, health and social affairs while wearing a “correct” Islamic hijab. right to choose their own husband This is considered unacceptable in many traditional and tribal homes in Afghanistan where husbands are chosen by parents

The ad did not contain many details It did not guarantee that women could join politics or have the freedom to move around without a male family member

Many fear that the confusing words used by the Taliban in their promises, such as “the correct hijab”, allow them to apply crushing judgments

Ms Sadat is the owner of the beauty store She was born in Iran to refugee parents She said she was not allowed to own a business in Iran So she returned to a country she did not have never seen to open his store

She asked not to be identified by her full name She fears attention will make her a target She has been more cautious as violence and bombings have increased in Kabul last year Many believe this points to a difficult future for Afghanistan after the Americans and NATO leave

Women who work or train in the store are afraid of the Taliban A worker said only the name of the Taliban scares them

It remains for them to decide how much fear or compromise of their rights they can accept Tamila Pazhman has declared that she does not want “old Afghanistan to come back” But she wants peace

“If we know that we will have peace, we will wear the hijab while we work and study,” she said “But there must be peace”

They all grew up in the last 20 years fairly democratic Significant strides have been made by women since the Taliban were expelled Girls are now in school and women are now in parliament, government and in companies

They also know how quickly these rights can be taken away in a deeply conservative country controlled by men

Karimi said Afghan women speaking out have been oppressed and ignored The majority of Afghan women will be silent She continued: “They know they will never receive any support”

Afghanistan remains one of the worst countries in the world for women It is the third, after Yemen and Syria, reports the Institute for Women, Peace and Security at Georgetown University

Life has changed little for centuries in most rural areas Women wake up when the sun rises and do much of the heavy labor at home and in the fields They wear the traditional clothes that cover their entire body body According to UN estimates, one in three girls is married before the age of 18 These are most often forced marriages

Kathy Gannon and Tameem Akhgar reported this story for The Associated Press Gregory Stachel adapted it for VOA Learning English Susan Shand was the editor

burqa – n a long garment that covers the face and body and is worn by some Muslim women in public places

frustrated – adj very angry, discouraged or upset because he is unable to do or complete something

Afghanistan, Taliban, withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan

Ebene News – UA – Young women who grew up without the Taliban fearing their return

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