Shugnan’s Women Condition under Taliban Regime

This is a local testimony coming from a region being ignored by regular media. In upper northeastern Afghanistan, Shugnan has similar people and values with the bordering Tajik Pamir. A young man, Arif Pamirzad, explains us how traditional strong women's position and education are under threat as a consequence of the recent fall of the district. He calls the Taliban rulers to adopt a responsible policy in order to protect the next generation and the future of his people.

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This is a local testimony coming from a region being ignored by regular media. In upper northeastern Afghanistan, Shugnan has people and values similar to the ones of the bordering Tajik Pamir. A young man, Arif Pamirzad, explains us how traditional strong women’s position and education are under threat as a consequence of the recent fall of the district. He calls the Taliban rulers to adopt a responsible policy in order to protect the next generation and the future of his people.

Education in Shugnan

As all Afghans know, Shugnan (also spelled Shighnan) is the only place where you can find more than 80 – 85% knowledgeable people and it was also one of the safest districts in all Afghanistan. During the history of our county, Shugnan was the only place that never stopped learning and going to school, I mean, under any government or regime, Shugnis never closed their schools or other educational place doors. Shugnan is one of the multi-religious and one of the pluralistic places in Afghanistan, and especially in Badakhshan.

Women’s position in Shugnan until the fall

Women are one of the strong powers of this society, and they worked side by side with men. There were not any limitations for women. They could open a shop to grow up their family economy or they could do anything they wanted. They could go to schools, courses. They could go to entertainment. They could do governmental jobs or work in an NGO, but based on the current situation most of them lost their chance that they had before Taliban regime.

Taliban’s new order and women condition

After falling of Shugnan, Taliban made lots of limitation for all Shugnis, especially for women, like:

  • women who are more than 15 have to cover their face,
  • women never go to anywhere without their husband or any other near relatives (like: Husband, son or brother),
  • girls who are upper the 7 grade [around 13 years old] can’t go to school,
  • women and girls can’t go to picnic or party,
  • and other lots of barriers and challenges they are facing.

Today, I am in touch with women and especially those girls. They are in the last grade of school or university. They are in a bad mental condition or situation. I am sure most of them had better dreams and goals. And they wanted to reach their goals and their dreams.

My call

At the end my suggestion is for Taliban, please let the girls go to school, universities and other educational places to educate. If you don’t let them, it means you don’t let the next generation of this country. And this method will put us in a big disaster.

Arif Pamirzad, Shugnan, October 9, 2021

About the author

I am Arif Pamirzad from Shugnan-Badakhshan-Afghanistan, and I am in the last semester of Computer Science Faculty in IT department. I am working as a IT trainee in UBRS (Ustad Burhanuddin Rabani Shahid Provincial Hospital). I write this information about women condition in Shugnan and I hope you publish it in your best weblog.

About Shugnan district

Beautiful view of Panj river, of the border between Afghanistan and Tajikistan the in Shughnon-shughnan region CC BY-SA 3.0 by Khwahan

Friendship bridge between Tajikistan, and Afghanistan Across the Panj river in Region ShughnonShughnan. CC BY-SA 3.0 by Khwahan

Wikipedia: Shighnan District (Persian: شهرستان سغنان‎ -Tajik: Ноҳияи Шиғнони) is one of the 28 districts of theBadakhshan Province in eastern Afghanistan. It’s part of the history region of Shighnan that is today divided between Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The district borders the Panj River and Tajikistan in the northeast, the Maimay district to the west, the Raghistan district in the southwest, the Kohistan, Arghanj Khwa, and Shuhada districts in the south, and the Ishkashim district in the southeast.
The Khowar, Tajiks, Khoshey, and Pamiris are the major ethnic groups. Only farsi and shughnani language is spoken and understood in shughnan.

Creative Commons License
Shugnan’s Women Condition under Taliban Regime by Arif Pamirzad is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://pamirinstitute.org/2021/10/09/shugnans-women-condition-under-taliban-regime/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://www.facebook.com/arif.pamirzad.

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Published by Pamir Institute

The Pamir Institute is an activist research and documentation group which aims at empowering the autochnous populations of the “Roof of the World” in High Asia. Its area of concern embraces the Pamirs from Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Tadjikistan.

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