17 Aug 2021: 'Waiting to be killed': Afghanistan's women fear as Taliban returns
Women across Afghanistan are anxious about whether and how they would survive the Taliban takeover of the country. 33-year-old Kubra Behroz is particularly concerned because of her profession. She is one of the few female soldiers in the Afghan National Army. Once unapologetic about her unconventional choice, Behroz now fears for her and her family's lives.
Quote: 'I'm afraid I will be kidnapped and raped'
"I am afraid I will be kidnapped, imprisoned and raped for being a soldier. I am afraid for my future and for my family," said Behroz, a mother of two. "They say the Taliban will cut off our heads if they find us," she stated, according to The Telegraph. Reports suggest Taliban fighters are raping women and young girls in the name of marriage.
Details: Behroz had joined the Army in 2010
Behroz was recruited in the Army as part of a special drive launched in 2010 by the Afghan government. It was aimed at including more women in the force and creating a modern Army. The six month-long training comprised courses on weapon systems, map reading, computer literacy, first aid, and physical training from American, British, and Jordanian instructors.
Fact: 'I don't want to be owned by anyone'
"I don't want to be owned by anyone. I want to stand on my own two feet," Behroz said of her decision to join the Army. "I love my country and we are the next generation of Afghans taking a step into the modern world."
Threats: Behroz says she would try to flee to Pakistan
In recent weeks, Behroz has experienced an increase in threat phone calls. "They speak in Pashto and then Dari and tell me they know how to find me." "They will kill me and my family. Killing is a piece of cake in Afghanistan; people don't think twice about it." She says she would try to flee to Pakistan.
Mayor: A young mayor says she is awaiting her death
Meanwhile, Zarifa Ghafari, one of Afghanistan's first female mayors, said she is waiting for the Taliban to come and kill her. "I'm sitting here waiting for them to come. There is no one to help me or my family...And they will come for people like me and kill me," she said in a recent interview. Ghafari, 27, is reportedly the youngest mayor in Afghanistan.
Fears: 'I have no choice'
Separately, a woman lawyer in Kabul said she is helpless. "I am just waiting inside my home...waiting for the Taliban to come any day now and kill me. I have no other choice," she told The Quint. She is, however, relieved that her two daughters have left the country with her brother's family. "I can die knowing that my daughters are safe."
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