Recent events in Afghanistan have left the world shocked, saddened and enraged as two decades of western and US interventions came to an end. In the wake of the military departure, the fundamentalist insurgent group, the Taliban, rapidly took control of key urban territories of the country and assumed overall governance of the state. The Taliban takeover in the remnants of decades of international interventions has dire consequences for all Afghan citizens, including growing threats against journalists, scholars, politicians, civil society leaders, human rights defenders and Afghans who supported US and allied efforts over the past two decades.
Afghan women have histories and presents of agency, dignity and ongoing resistance both to the Taliban and to gendered violences committed during the course of the conflict. A resurgence of Taliban control has intensified the potential for violence and oppression of women and girls. Whereas all Afghans face the potential imposition of restrictive and repressive religious codes and civil laws on their everyday lives, it is certain that these policies will be heavily gendered, with greater consequences for women and girls, for whom their gender, ethnicity, class, political opinion, education, profession, and other identity markers pose additional intersectional threats. In this context, they also are subjects of conflicting local and global normative and institutional structures whose tension heightens the stakes for their survival.
As a leading global forum for international studies scholars from multiple disciplinary fields, FTGS and ISA are partnering with the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security to convene this roundtable on the gendered dynamics and impacts of the current situation in Afghanistan. This discussion will serve as an avenue for critical analysis of the above concerns from a diversity of scholarly, policy and political perspectives, with the goal of identifying entry points for concerted action.