While we can condemn America’s involvement in Afghanistan, on a positive note, during its 20-year occupation, Afghan women got their rights and emancipation from the Taliban rule from 1996 to 2001.

It has been a noteworthy social construct that gave women to contribute to the society they live in with dignity and equality. The US justified their presence in Afghanistan to liberate women from the Taliban and their traditions that restricted their lives to remain uneducated, home-bound, and burqa-covered.

When the Taliban got ousted from power, women entered public life in droves. Law, medicine, politics, and other fields saw the tremendous presence of women. Under the US and other allies, Afghan women made up more than a quarter of parliamentarians, and by 2016 over 150,000 had been elected to local offices.

That has been a historic achievement for Afghan women, and the US deserves big applause for this cause.

Now Taliban are poised to come back; it is very much in doubt if they are familiar with the notion of gender equality. Rollback of women’s rights and their achievements in the last 20 years is the scenario emerging as the militant group is on a winning spree district by district in Afghanistan.

-Promod Puri.

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