69% of Afghan women suffer from anxiety, isolation and depression, warns UN

Kabul, Sep 19 (EFE).- 69 percent of women in Afghanistan suffer from anxiety, isolation, and depression. This trend has been on the rise since the Taliban seized power two years ago, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report Tuesday.

The situation has worsened significantly in recent months, UNAMA said in a follow-up report of consultations with 529 women in 22 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.

In the document, the international body highlights a sharp drop in women’s power of influence in household decision-making, from 90% in January 2023 to 16% last June.

Eighty percent of Afghan women also noted that their ability to engage in income-generating activities has declined in recent months, according to UNAMA data.

Also, 62% felt that the Taliban’s decrees “were applied with increasing severity and without exceptions, leading to further backsliding in the private sphere,” the report added.

Since the takeover of Kabul two years ago, the Taliban have severely restricted women’s rights and have almost completely excluded them from public life, preventing them from accessing secondary and university education, a measure that, they claimed, would be temporary until they could adapt the contents to Islamic law or sharia.

A long list of vetoes have also been added, such as working in NGOs, the obligation to leave the house with their faces covered, gender segregation, and being accompanied by a male family member for long journeys.

They have also been banned from beauty salons and national parks, as well as from playing sports or appearing in films.

The reality in which Afghan women live today increasingly resembles the time of the first Taliban regime, between 1996 and 2001, when they were confined to their homes under a rigid interpretation of Islam and the strict social code of the Pashtun ethnic group (the majority in Afghanistan) known as Pashtunwali. EFE


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