Afghanistan mayor worries the Taliban may 'kill' her: Will women be oppressed again? – USA TODAY

One of Afghanistan’s first female mayors, Zarifa Ghafari, told i News on Sunday that she was waiting for the Taliban to “come for people like me and kill me.”
“There is no one to help me or my family. I’m just sitting with them and my husband. And they will come for people like me and kill me. I can’t leave my family. And anyway, where would I go?” Ghafari told the British newspaper. 
On Sunday, the Taliban moved to take over the country’s capital, Kabul, that led to a frenzied scene of people flooding Hamid Karzai International Airport, trying to flee.
Ghafari has been fearing for her life ever since she assumed her position at age 26, The New York Times reported in 2019. On her first day of work as the mayor of Maidan Shar, a town that borders Kabul, men with sticks and rocks ran her out of her office, and she didn’t return for nine months, the Times reports. Since then, she has survived several attempts on her life, including masked men shooting at her car in 2020.
For women, the Taliban taking over the government could mean the risk of flogging, lost access to their jobs and school – or at its worse – death.
Beauty salon employees in Kabul have been painting over photos of women on business buildings, Vice reports. An image of a man using a paint roller to cover women’s faces has been retweeted more than 26,000 times.
When the Taliban took control over Kabul in 1994, a women’s university was closed, most women were forced  to quit their jobs, and many lost their access to education and health care, according to an archived report from the U.S. Department of State.
At that time, the report stated women seen in public without a male relative or wearing a burka, a garment covering the body from head to toe used by Muslim women, could result in violent crimes like being raped, abducted and forced into marriage. 
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Many were forced to stay inside their homes, and those who did not have male family members who brought in financial support were at times left to beg in the street for change, according to the report.
The Taliban rule came to an end in 2001, and thereafter women’s rights began to progress. In 2004, men and women were granted equal rights after it was adopted into the Afghanistan constitution.
Taliban spokesperson Suhail Shaheen called into BBC News on Sunday and said women would still be able to live their lives freely, but history calls the claim into question. 
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Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email:


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