One of the reasons to invade Afghanistan was to liberate the population from the medieval rule of the Taliban. In most senses that has happened, as the Taliban is only strong in pockets and has recently been facing a military surge.

All of that being said, there has been rising discomfort that the new government doesn’t appear to be much better in the treatment of women. Women have complained about being consistently being left out of the decision-making process and feel their voices are being shouted over. Even though women are no longer subject to many of the harsh (some say Draconian) Taliban laws, they are still not being given the same opportunities to help shape the country.

Television, which the Taliban banned, has now been restored. Now the Afghani public is facing a problem in which women are being sexualized, in a true reversal. The Kabul government is having problems limiting the rising female flesh being seen in programming.

It is quite interesting that women have gone from being invisible to much more sexualized in less than a decade. What makes it more difficult is that the government is still very weak and unable to stop this trend. Limited access in public discourse is very much a problem while a new civil society is being created.

Hopefully, Afghani women will be able to find voices in their society and finally become full member and participants. As an old saying goes, “Women hold up half the sky.”

Photo attributed to: S.K. Vemmer, employee of the U.S. State Department 

Written by Dan Logue