From the Paris of Asia to beyond the Taliban: 2018 survey of Afghan people

11.12.18 / A new survey has found that women’s access to justice is improving in Afghanistan, but there are less women in politics and leadership roles.

The Asia Foundation’s 2018 Survey of the Afghan People shows how women’s rights have improved since the Taliban’s regime ended in 2001, particularly in terms of bringing disputes to court and a general awareness of rights. There has also been a decrease in support for Baddal, the practice of exchanging daughters in marriage for financial reasons.

On the flipside there is less support for women in politics and leadership positions, and for women’s right to vote.

From the 1930s to the early 1970s, Afghanistan was relatively liberal. Kabul, its capital, was a progressive and modern city, to the point where from the 1960s it was often referred to as the Paris of Central Asia.

However towards the end of the 20th century women began to experience significant repression, culminating in the Taliban’s enforced gender segregation, the elimination of women from the public sphere, and their regular brutalisation.

Founded in 1954, the Asia Foundation is a nonprofit organisation that focuses its work on improving the lives of people across developing countries in Asia.

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