Open Letter to the Taliban
The future of Afghanistan is at stake
Dear Taliban leaders:
First and foremost, it has been twenty years since your organization was ousted out of Afghanistan. During that time, the country began the long road towards healing and recovery. Women and girls regained their freedoms. Their numbers increased in schools and in the workforce. Under the watchful eye of the United States, military and the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, women, and girls made inroads in many areas of Afghan daily life.
I’m sure you’ve seen the progress made in your country. People were happier and healthier. Stability had returned to the region. The government held elections. The voice of the people was heard and acknowledged.
I ask that what has transpired over the last twenty years, all the progress that’s been made doesn’t disappear. Already, you’ve informed women and girls all around the country to stay in their homes. Afghan girls can’t go to school. Afghan women can’t go to work. You claim your soldiers may harm them if they’re seen outside of their homes. Why haven’t you trained your soldiers to treat the girls and women of Afghanistan with respect?
You have the opportunity to be the gold standard for women’s rights in Afghanistan. The Middle East isn’t known as a bastion for women’s rights. From child brides to honor killings, stories abound about the abuse girls and women face every day. The Taliban can change this image. You can begin by maintaining the policies already in place that provide girls and women access to education and jobs. To undo this progress would be detrimental to the future of the country.
Think about that. The future of your country. A country of men, women, and children who want to rebuild Afghanistan. Your country has an opportunity to change its present and reshape its future. Peace and progress can be a part of the new Afghanistan.
If you are willing to let go of the policies of the past, the Taliban government could be heralded as heroes in the future. Think about that. Heroes! No one would ever use the word “heroes” to describe members of the Taliban. But that could be your future. You could be the heroes who upheld the rights of girls and women, rebuilt Afghan cities, held free elections, and restored the country’s infrastructure. Think about it. The choice is yours. The world is watching.