Photo Of The Day

Women browse in a Kabul record store

Women browse in a Kabul record store

Afghan Women 

The Afghanistan government was shifting towards democracy in the 1950’s and 60’s before the Taliban took over. Women could work, become educated, dress casually and use many of the modern day services that men could.

Some time ago, it was an absolutely different country. Afghan women made a career in medicine, went to the movies and studied at the universities of Kabul. Afghan factories produced fabrics and other goods. There was law and order and the government could implement such large infrastructure projects as the construction of hydroelectric plants and roads (though not without help from outside). Ordinary people had hope for the future…

A lot of this has been destroyed by too many years of war.

Women in Afghanistan are brutally repressed under Taliban rule.

Under their rule women are forbidden to be educated, and to be publicly beaten for showing disobedience and forced to wear burqas – a garment that covers the whole body, apart from the eyes.


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  • conwaycaptain

    Thank the Russians first and then those towering intellects of Bush and Blair

    • ropteron

      Such wisdom emanating from the South Waikato ;)

  • john Doe

    30 years of a LabGreen government would result in us living in caves and mud huts and women covering their faces and men wearing dirty washing on their heads. (shudder).

  • Ramsey

    good call Lux. It’s an absolute tragedy. For us, Afghanistan is juts a pin on the map and a feature of news reports, for those poor women, it’s constant oppression and no hope at all for a better future.
    I am guessing it’s the same in Iran, Algeria, northern Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan etc.
    What a nice religion aye

  • Night Stick

    Looking at those photos, the people seemed to smile a lot back then. What I have noticed about our Muslim imports is that they appear sour and unhappy in their Allah uniforms.

    • Mark

      I’ve observed that too. Well, at least with the ones that aren’t hidden under a large black rubbish sack…

  • jude

    That photo looks so Western! It is appalling how the Taliban have influenced Afghanistan to the extent they have. That society has regressed so much.
    We, I guess, try to impose western values on other cultures too much, however ,in terms of justice, particularly for woman, surely they are better off under a western type regime?
    I know what I want to say, the words are not coming out very clearly!;)

    • Toasty

      I get what you are saying.

      • jude

        Thank you!

  • Rockape

    Iran, why would she wear a burka!

  • GazzW

    I wonder whether in 2064 people will look back on photos of women in Bradford, Birmingham, Lille, Marseilles or Stockholm taken in 2014 and make the same comments. Or will the Europeans make a stand and end this nonsense?

    • POY

      Marseilles is basically a write off, I watched the episode Ross Kemp did on it and wow, stuff going there.

  • SteveWrathall

    This meme that the average Afghan woman was liberated in the 60s/70s is rubbish. The vast majority were still burkha-clad and uneducated, apart from the Kabul elite. The post-2001 progress will be generational

  • Ilovelife

    Could someone please enlighten me as to why burqa wearing females are present in NZ. They clearly go along with the regime they are escaping by conforming to the rules of the Taliban. Got a shock at how many there are in Otahuhu last week.

    • Lux

      The burqua does not belong in NZ Society for many reasons:

      It symbolizes the fundamental suppression of women that includes female circumcision, “honour” killings, discrimination, and social perversion under the guise of religious freedom.

      Every time I see a burqua or a veil I feel pity for the woman wearing it.

    • POY

      I was more surprised when I went to the zoo the other weekend, lots and lots there…

  • Huia

    This was before the Shah and other progressive leaders were shot / banished /exiled. Then came the Ayotolla Khomeni and his misery guts followers who stirred up the hatred of all things Western, browbeating the followers (men)and fanning the mass hysteria gene, but men have bowed down and used it to their own advantage…. mass hysteria followed, the old laws reinstigated ie Its legal to marry a 6 year old girl, you own women etc. It has put those countries back into the dark ages but they are now spreading their poison around the world. You would have to pretty thick to think it wont be happening here despite the protestations of those running the Mosques. If these people wanted a better life away from all the Sharia laws, wanted a better life for their children especially their daughters then they wouldn’t be still wearing bloody burqua’s in a western country in the south pacific. I have the urge to rip every face veil off that I see, then say welcome to the human race, you are a puppet and a slave no longer welcome to freedom.

    • Ilovelife

      I feel resentment when I see it too. It goes against everything this country stands for. I have nothing against head scarves.

  • intelligentes candida diva

    A book named “Burned Alive”by Souad a worthy read is another aspect of the treatment of women. Title is self explanatory girl survives to tell her story.

    I recall as a child The Shah of Iran coming to NZ and one of the reasons was to look at the freezing works around halal practices.

    Great picture Lux it does remind me that there was a time of increasing freedoms for Muslim dominated nations but once the Shah was gone systems tightened up again

  • Ururoa

    Why do people become reactionary? it is when someone tries to take away the little that they already have, that they see change as causing their loss, and they hang onto what they had harder and harder.

    History is often a repressor, it prevents change because when people are in a crappy situation, they hark back to an earlier, better era. So the cry becomes “Let’s go back” rather than ‘Let’s go forward”.

    And the call of the romanticised past is not easily quelled when you have jealousy, envy, the loss of control, and bombs are falling and your children are being murdered.

    The whole approach to the Middle East, Islam and Terrorism has been flawed. You cannot beat an entire people into submission or “conversion” to your way of thinking. You cannot try to force on them a new way of living, while at the same time trying to destroy the only thing they have. Look at Russia now; the “west” kept on telling them they were “wrong” for some 80 years, and yes maybe their system was wrong, and communism was destroyed, but now we have a new power that is reactionary in the extreme and keen to regain its past “glories”. Where does that leave us? The same place we were in 1919.

    Subsistence though it may be, is far better than no existence at all. And so they will fight by any means whatsoever to maintain the little they have in the face of what they perceive as extermination of their core being. Not their economic well being, but of who they are. By pursuing this idiotic absolutist ideology of one size fits all, the “west” just continues to perpetrate and reinforce that which it tries to erase.