The Taliban demand that women keep themselves silent. Here’s what they can do to help them get to school

Pakistan is held captive by a cabal of lawless tribal lords and religious zealots determined to shut all women up in their shrines, so that they can pursue their sexual desires until they die….

The Taliban demand that women keep themselves silent. Here’s what they can do to help them get to school

Pakistan is held captive by a cabal of lawless tribal lords and religious zealots determined to shut all women up in their shrines, so that they can pursue their sexual desires until they die. It’s a story that has been told by women around the world, but now a faction within the Taliban have taken the idea one step further by mandating that they cease contact with the outside world entirely.

The fundamentalist Islamist group announced last month that females should “become more impure and never become leaders or educated,” in order to make sure that their “males do not go on the way of the enemies of Islam.” Because the Taliban consider girls to be young virgins when they reach puberty, the new regulations include a punishment for failing to comply with the rules: marriage. So in the holy month of Ramadan, women who fail to cover their body from head to toe will have to be married to older men who will treat them cruelly, “even when they are young.” If even a female child reaches puberty in defiance of the Muslim sect, the regime shall prohibit intercourse with that child.

Needless to say, the Taliban are not particularly popular, both in countries and among many Muslims. Even if we discount the word of violent caliph Usama bin Laden, the Taliban-allied militia have abducted thousands of their own tribe members and force them to work for them as little girls. As a result, most Taliban-run countries are already plagued by corruption and even violence.

Until women are completely shut out of society, the world must keep reminding them about their rights and demands, both inside and outside the home. For people who fear violence for studying for a Bachelor’s degree or for assuming an academic role in their community, here’s some advice: simply start a study group — or find a mentor — and ask them to help you.

You also have the right to an education. Here’s the number to call your local school district to inquire about gender specific education classes.

There is no “whole girl” family in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan; while many honor killings in the rural area are inspired by threats from the Taliban, women in this part of the world have the right to decide for themselves what religious doctrine they want to follow. In the cities, women must endure beatings for leaving the home unaccompanied by a male relative, but they are also entitled to public transportation and have a right to hold public office. Let’s try to help them do just that.

They may eventually be given the right to travel abroad, for personal as well as professional reasons, but they must wear the proper hijab (Muslim headscarf) that preserves their dignity.

Around the world, we must demand that women have the right to an education. Here’s the number to call your local school district to inquire about gender specific education classes.

For advice about which female celebrities are desired as brides by Taliban fundamentalists, click here.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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