The report comes in the wake of the start of US efforts to withdraw its troops from Afghanistan in order to end the 20-year war. The decision, pushed for by President Joe Biden, met with criticism from some US lawmakers, who suggested, among other things, that Afghan women’s rights might suffer as a result.
The US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the Taliban* taking power in Kabul “would roll back much” of the progress that has been achieved in the area of women’s rights in the country over the past years, a US National Intelligence Council assessment claims. The intelligence report further suggests that these gains were achieved largely due to foreign pressure on the government in Kabul, rather than being the result of support for such changes inside Afghanistan.
The report stresses that prior to the US toppling of the Taliban* in Afghanistan, the group had imposed rules that greatly limited the rights of the country’s female population – banning girls from attending schools and prohibiting women from working anywhere outside their home. Women could also not go outside their homes without a male relative or wear clothes other than burqas.
The report explains that this could be the case in Afghan regions where relatively lenient rules existed even before Taliban* rule. The document further elaborates that in some areas where the group is currently in control, it has occasionally allowed girls to…