Afghan women leaders told to “lay low, keep quiet, stand down if they want to survive,” says Mina’s List founder Tanya Henderson on BBC News

Teresa Casale
Teresa Casale
August 24, 2021

The Taliban is already placing new restrictions on women’s rights and is much more tech savvy than before, said Mina’s List founder and executive director Tanya Henderson during an interview with BBC World News.

Ms. Henderson stressed that no one should expect the ‘new Taliban’ to submit to international scrutiny. Afghan women around the country have reported that the Taliban is already not allowing girls to attend school and women are not able leave their homes without a male chaperone, restrictions that are also making their way into Kabul. Ms. Henderson warned:


We’re looking at a much more desperate situation at this moment in time. Every woman leader that I know that I have been working with since 2014—their homes have been raided, their offices have been raided, and they have been told to lay low, keep quiet, stand down if they want to survive. Every single woman I know is on the Taliban’s kill list.


Countries must commit to protecting and evacuating Afghan women as the Taliban forms its government and should maintain a high level of skepticism towards Taliban claims to respect women’s rights. Ms. Henderson said:


The Taliban have gotten much more savvy and smart. They know how to speak to Western audiences and international audiences now. They know the right things to say. I think they’re quietly waiting for the international forces to leave.


They also understand the power of communication and media… Once the Taliban take over a district or province, they immediately cut off all communication means from that district or province, so we can no longer monitor human rights violations.


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Teresa Casale
Teresa Casale
Executive Director