Post-war Reconstruction in Afghanistan

Post-war Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Gender-sensitive approaches


Written by: Rabail Anjumv


Afghanistan is said to be a war-torn country. Since decades of war, the country has seen many ups and downs and its citizens have never found a peaceful home. Afghanistan has a total population of 34 million which constitutes 14.2 million females, and the country has a 78 percent rural population. During conflicts and wars, women are the most vulnerable groups. They are the victims of tribal cultures, foreign invasions, and militant attacks.

The golden era for women was a short spell of fate. However, the tide is against them. After the withdrawal of American forces, females were left at the mercy of the Taliban government. Historically speaking, the world has already seen Taliban rules back in 2000 and it does not give a rosy picture. Taliban’s second regime has already shown its true color in the form of a ban on girls’ education and anti-women laws. Despite external pressures, the Taliban have shown little sympathy towards women.

There are many reasons behind gender insensitive policies in Afghanistan; the tribal culture, women’s illiteracy, patriarchy, and economic dependency all play a vital role in gender disparity. The WPS agreement during the Intra-Afghan talk has not been very fruitful and was not implemented with integrity. Moreover, Afghan women lack representation in the legislature; hence, the legal hurdles in gender-sensitive approaches are also common. Similarly, the Taliban have always used Islamic Law to justify their antipathy towards women; calling “Women Rights” a Western Agenda that has never helped Afghan Taliban. On the other hand, Pashtun men feel threatened by Women’s empowerment as it would badly hurt their so-called male ego. This is the reason for the higher Afghan male ratio at every platform. However, as the conflicts are gone and now it is the phase of post-war reconstruction – the United States, United Nations, and European Nation should take immediate action for a gender-sensitive approach and women inclusive policies. This report provides an overview of women’s rights in Afghanistan. Furthermore, it highlights the challenges for the post-conflict reconstruction of gender-sensitive approaches. The study also sheds light on some gender-sensitive policies in post-conflict reconstruction. Additionally, the study describes the conflict between Islamic Sharia and women empowerment according to the Afghan Taliban perspective. Lastly, it suggests the steps to improve the women’s situation and how to take the gender-sensitive approach in the reconstructive phase of Afghanistan. TURN PAGE >>