As I am sure the majority of you guys know, the Taliban recently seized many urban areas and border crossings in Afghanistan including Kabul. For those of you who don’t know about this news, I will explain a little bit about the current state and background.

After years of direct negotiation, in February 2020, the government of the United States and the Taliban signed a peace agreement about when the U.S. troops would withdraw and leave Afghanistan. In this agreement, the United States agreed to lower the number of troops to 8,500 within the span of 135 days and to completely leave within 14 months. In return, the Taliban pledged to not allow territory under their control from being used by terrorist organizations. However, after this, violence across Afghanistan continued and the United States increased raids and airstrikes towards the Taliban. In August 2021, the Taliban started capturing the capitals of different provinces in Afghanistan, and just recently, they took over the capital of Afghanistan: Kabul.

Now, since they have taken over, they are enforcing their own rules that make a dramatic impact, especially towards women. As women in Canada are heading back for a successful semester at university, women in Afghanistan are being forced to put on burqas, an outer garment that covers the body and the face and can no longer receive an education past the age of 12. Not to mention, under Taliban rule, they cannot vote or work. To add to this, females are now not even allowed in public without a male guardian beside them, or else they will get beaten, whipped, or even killed.

My heart truly aches for women in Afghanistan as the women who have put in so much dedication to education for a chance at a better future now have to give those dreams up. I cannot imagine that there are girls the same age as me who have to drop out of school and enter a forced marriage. Even if you have nothing to do with this situation and have no family or friends struggling with this event, please try imagining what they are experiencing. As we, Canadians, accept and resettle 20,000 afghans threatened by the Taliban, let’s give them our support and make sure to provide them with compassion and kindness. To support the women suffering in countries affected by war, you can show your support to the Women for Women International organization and even make a small donation to them. Spread awareness of this issue!

Thank you for reading about this.

Warmest regards,

Mandi

Miss Teenage South Calgary

Written by: Mandi