Afghanistan: An ICRC perspective on bringing assistance and protection to women during the Taliban regime
The fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan has opened the way for considerable debate on the country's future, and the part to be played by women in that future is now being widely analysed and discussed. Much has being written about the fate of women under the Taliban. This short article aims to review the activities of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Afghanistan during the Taliban rule, with particular focus on its impact on women to see what lessons could be learned in terms of how to provide the widest and most effective humanitarian assistance despite massive political and logistical constraints. Before continuing, it should be pointed out that prior to Taliban rule the situation of women in Kabul and other large towns (where their access to education and work and their freedom of movement were greater) differed considerably from that of women in rural areas (where the approach towards them was generally more conservative). So when the Taliban took power, their impact varied throughout the country.