KABUL, Afghanistan – When Rahima Jami heard that the Americans and the Taliban were close to a peace agreement, she thought about her feet.
Jami is now legislator in the Afghan parliament, but in 1996, when the Taliban insurgents took power, she was headmistress – until she was forced out of her job and said she could only leave home in an ankle-length burka. 19659002] On a hot day at the market, her feet showed, and so the Religious Police beat her with a horse-whip until she was barely able to stand.
Horror stories by executors of the Taliban Committee for Promoting Virtue and Violence Vice prevention is a staple for any educated Afghan woman over 25 years old. Now, these women have a new horror story: the possibility that American troops will leave Afghanistan under a peace agreement with the Taliban.
For many women, however, hopes awoke a possible end to peace. The struggle mingles with an undeniable feeling of fear.
"We do not want peace that makes the situation for women's rights worse now," says Robina Hamdard, director of the legal department of Afghan Women's network. The organization is a coalition of prominent women's organizations funded from abroad.
No one has to sell Afghan women to stop the bloodshed. They have buried far too many husbands, sons and brothers. However, they fear that a peace that strengthens the Taliban may well trigger a new war against women, and they want the negotiators not to forget them.
"Afghan women also want peace," said Ms. Jami. "But not at any price."
When she thinks of this time she was beaten, she said, "I remember it, and I actually faint."
And how many women is Ms. Jami convinced that all A peace agreement that gives the Taliban a share in the power goes to the expense of freedom for Afghan women. "Come at this time, they will complete their incomplete dreams and they will be crueler than in the past," said Ms. Jami.
This concern is a fear among women they have suspended in the peace process And when the Afghans finally sit down at a peace table, no women will be present.
"We do not want to be the victims of the peace process with the Taliban," said Laila Haidari, an entrepreneur also working with drug addicts.
Haidari's work was not allowed under the Taliban regime when she was exiled in Iran. "But the Afghan government completely ignores Afghan women in the peace process," she said.
Shukria Paykan, another Member of Parliament, remembers that they spent the Taliban years "who were forced to be in a dark cage outside our home." mean the burka. "
Ms. Paykan was expelled from her university professorship and her daughter's school was closed, as were all Taliban girls' schools. She opened a secret home school and pretended to teach the Koran and tailoring girls among the only subjects they were allowed. The only women who were allowed to work were doctors, and even they had to have a close male relative to accompany them at work.
Kundan-born Paykan said he felt excluded from the Afghan peace process.
"I was a M.P. twice and a university professor, but no one ever asked me about peace talks with the Taliban or even told me that my rights were secure, "she said. "We have been at war for 40 years and everyone is tired of fighting, but this peace must not mean the price of losing our rights and freedom as women."
It is still early in the beginning of this phase of the peace process. and last week's talks in Doha, Qatar, did not include Afghan government officials, neither men nor women.
American officials hope to persuade the Taliban at a later date to assemble with Afghan officials, which they have rejected so far, and issues such as the Constitution, which guarantees women's rights, would then be on the table.
Some women in the government were pleased that the talks had at least begun.
"Women must raise their voices so that they will not be forgotten," said Habiba Sarabi, a member of the High Peace Council in Kabul, and one of 15 women in the 75-member council appointed by the government. "Without women it will be a broken peace. However, we are optimistic about the peace talks.
Saira Sharif, an Afghan poet and politician from Khost, said earlier efforts to hold talks between the government and the Taliban excluded women.
"The Afghan government has assured women Often, women's rights are becoming a peace agreement she said, "but women were not involved in the previous talks with the Taliban, and we need a place in the future. We have come a long way to achieving the rights we have now, only to lose them after a peace agreement. "
All those involved in peace negotiations agree that the war could end only with an agreement on power sharing. This could mean that ministries or territories need to be shared across the country, or a combination of both. It could even mean that Taliban officials stand for a national office – and possibly win.
"We want the Taliban to accept women's rights and make a statement guaranteeing women's rights," said Ms. Paykan. Nobody talks about that yet, she said.
Ryan Crocker, a former American ambassador to Afghanistan, was a key diplomat in Kabul in January 2002, helping to build the first government after the Taliban. "We have given women a high priority from the beginning," he said. "One of the first things we did was get girls' schools up and running."
Mr. Crocker said he was concerned that the withdrawal of American troops would have consequences for the future role of the Taliban.
"What really bothers me is what will happen to Afghan women and girls?" He said. "Acute misogyny in Afghanistan goes far beyond the Taliban. Without a strong US hand, Afghan women will not look that good. They can do what they want after we leave. "
In fact, many Afghan women have a hard time without the Taliban. The President of the National Football Association (19459009) and three other senior officials of the organization are being suspended for allegations of sexual and physical abuse by players; An investigation has been going on for almost two months, so far there are no arrests.
Women are still affected by the murder of an Islamic scholar, Farkhunda, by a men's mob in 2015 while police officers are idle. Refuges sheltering women from abusive husbands and families are under growing pressure from government and society.
[Read The Times's Pulitzer-Preis-Berichte 2016 über afghanische Frauen]
] Woman. Haidari's restaurant in Kabul, Taj-Begum, has been repeatedly raided by the police. She said she was molested because she allows men and women to eat together, does not always wear a headscarf, and a woman is in business.
Qadria Azarnoosh is a Hazara dancer whose traditional art has been suppressed by cultural conservatives in recent years – or as she says of "Taliban mentality people who are not Taliban members."
Last week she staged a public performance of the colorful dance along with a group of girlfriends (19459014), knowing that many of her parents would reject her and possibly limit her homes afterward. The same day the news came from the peace talks in Doha.
"When we heard that the US troops are leaving Afghanistan in 18 months, we asked girls," What will happen to us? Said Mrs. Azarnoosh, "People think we are bad girls to dance in. What will happen to us if the Taliban becomes part of the government?"